Indonesia’s Lion Group confirms JVs in Vietnam, India

The Vietnamese venture, which will operate under the Group's 'Batik' brand as Batik Air Vietnam based out of Ho Chi Minh City and will likely launch during the second half of 2017 using three B737s.


Aussie Batik B737 Batik Air Edward Strait Lion Group Malindo Air Rusdi Kirana


Indonesia’s Lion Group has said it is planning to set up joint-venture carriers in India and Vietnam. Chairman Edward Strait confirmed the Indonesian conglomerate is planning to set up joint-ventures in India and Vietnam.

Speaking to the Jakarta Post, Lion Group chairman Edward Strait said the Vietnamese venture, which will operate under the Group’s ‘Batik’ brand as Batik Air Vietnam based out of Ho Chi Minh City, will likely launch during the second half of 2017 using three B737s. Talks with an unspecified local Vietnamese partner are currently underway, he added.

As for India, Strait said the government there had welcomed the firm’s investment plans without elaborating.

Aside from its Jakarta-based Lion Air mainline budget operation, Lion Group also carries out full-service flights under its ‘Batik’ brand. At present, Batik Air operates within Indonesia along with its Kuala Lumpur-based Malindo Air, which is set to be rebranded as Batik Air Malaysia. Plans to launch Aussie Batik in Australia fell through after a market analysis showed the venture would have needed more capacity to hit critical mass than what Lion Group was prepared to allocate.

“The expansion to Malaysia and Thailand needs a lot of planes, so it is not enough to serve the Australian market,” Lion Air co-founder Rusdi Kirana said. “If we insisted on operating with a limited number of planes, it will not be able to reach economies of scale.”