Lion Air subsidiary Batik Air has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-800 as part of its plan to offer international services later this year.
The aircraft, part of a six-aircraft sale and leaseback deal from Irish lessor Avolon, will add to the full-service airline’s existing six 737-900s and will also assist the carrier’s plan to expand its current schedule from 10 destinations to 22 by year end. The delivered aircraft is currently at Singapore’s Seletar facility.
The carrier, which currently only serves Indonesia destinations, is awaiting approvals from Singaporean authorities for the proposed new Jakarta-Changi route. “Our first international destination will be Singapore and we aim to have more than a daily service on the route from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Changi Airport,” Batik Air CEO Achmad Luthfie said. The airline plans to start flights to Kuala Lumpur in the coming months, followed by Australia and possibly China, pending the necessary approvals.
Batik has been slower than predicted in building its fleet; it was due to take the first of Lion Air’s 109 Airbus A320s in July, but Airbus now says the aircraft will be delivered in the third quarter. It also canceled an order for five 787 Dreamliners earlier this year and intends to substitute them with more 737-800s.