Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air will start a hybrid airline in Malaysia in a joint venture with the country’s National Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI).

The new carrier, named Malindo Airways, will start operations in May 2013 with a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft.

The airline will offer a “hybrid product” using aircraft with a two-class configuration – 12 in business and 168 in economy. The aircraft will also be equipped with in-flight entertainment systems and in-flight connectivity.

NADI will hold a 51% stake in the new carrier and Lion Air 49% and it will be based at Kuala Lumpur International airport’s terminal two and focus on routes between Malaysia and Lion Air’s hub in Indonesia before operating to other cities such as Bangkok, Manila, Hanoi and Guangzhou. It will also operate on domestic routes.

The carrier intends to add 12 aircraft to its fleet each year, including the Boeing 737 Max and 787 and shall come from Lion Air’s current order book.

The five 787s Lion Air has on order – originally set for its premium carrier Batik Air – will instead go to Malindo in 2015.

The new airline will offer ticket prices lower or at least on par with that of Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia.

Source – Flight Global