Indonesian carrier Lion Air has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to take 50 Boeing MAX 10 single-aisle aircraft, the US-based manufacturer said at the Paris Air Show June 19.

The Lion Air Group, which consists of several carriers in the region including Malaysia-based Malindo Air, is already one of the world’s largest Boeing 737NG operators and has previously ordered 201 MAXs.

The Group was the lead customer for both the MAX 8 and MAX 9 and while it was too early to say if it would take a similar position for the MAX 10, it was very likely that it would be among the first operators of the largest member of the MAX family, Boeing SVP-sales, Asia-Pacific and India Dinesh Kaskar told ATW.

Lion Air has the MAX 8 in revenue service and is taking the first four MAX 9s.

Lion Air president Edward Siriat said the MAX 10s would be used on domestic services throughout the Indonesian archipelago and elsewhere in the region.

Lion Air has expanded at a rapid rate in recent years; questions have been raised as to whether it can continue to grow at such a rapid rate, or whether the intake of so many new aircraft will put a strain on the group.

However, Keskar said people forgot the airline’s policy was to maintain a young fleet and, by the time the MAX 10s started to appear earlier aircraft would be getting rotated out of the inventory.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com