PT Lion Mentari Airlines, operating as Lion Air, is an Indonesian low-cost airline. Based in Jakarta, Lion Air is the country's largest privately run airline, the second largest low-cost airline in Southeast Asia (after AirAsia) and the largest airline of Indonesia. With Wings Air and Batik Air, Lion Group is the country's largest airline's group. The airline operates domestic as well as international routes, which connects different destinations of Indonesia to Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, India, Japan and Saudi Arabia,[1] as well as charter routes to Mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Macau, with more than 630 flights per day.[2][3]

Lion Air
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded15 November 1999; 23 years ago (1999-11-15)
Commenced operations30 June 2000; 23 years ago (2000-06-30)
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Fleet size111
Parent companyLion Air Group
HeadquartersLion Air Tower, Jalan KH. Hasyim Ashari, Jakarta, Indonesia
Key peopleRusdi Kirana (Chairman)
Edward Sirait (President and CEO)
Daniel Putut (Managing Director)

The airline has repeatedly broken records for largest aircraft orders, such as its $24 billion order for 234 Airbus A320 jets, as well as its $22.4 billion order for 230 competing aircraft from Boeing.[1] The airline signed an agreement with US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing for fifty 737 MAX 10 passenger jets worth $6.24 billion in June 2017. The airline is Boeing's second-largest customer (after US-based Southwest Airlines).[4] It had once been criticised for poor operational management in areas such as scheduling and safety, although steps have been taken to improve its safety: on 16 June 2016, the European Union lifted the ban it had placed on Lion Air from flying into European airspace.[5] In June 2018 it attained a positive safety rating following an ICAO audit.[6][7]


A Yakovlev Yak-42D, the first aircraft of Lion Air, landing in Singapore
A Lion Air McDonnell Douglas MD-82 at Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport

The airline was established in October 1999 by Rusdi and Kusnan Kirana and started operations on 30 June 2000, when it began scheduled passenger services from Jakarta to Denpasar and Pontianak using a leased Boeing 737-200. It was the first low-cost airline in Indonesia. The fleet was quickly expanded with the wet-lease of five Yakovlev Yak-42Ds, two McDonnell Douglas MD-82s and two sub-leased Airbus A310-300s. Rapid growth enabled modernisation of the fleet with Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 737-400 aircraft. In 2003, a subsidiary airline was established, Wings Air, operating flights on lower density routes. Further subsidiaries were developed including Malindo Air in Malaysia in 2012, Thai Lion Air in Thailand in 2013 and domestically, Batik Air, a full-service subsidiary, also in 2013.[8]

The airline is planning to join the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and therefore hoping to become the second IATA Indonesian member carrier after Garuda Indonesia. Lion Air failed, in early 2011, the initial IATA assessments for membership due to safety concerns. Lion Air and Boeing pioneered the use of required navigation performance (RNP) procedures in Indonesia, having successfully performed validation flights at the two terrain-challenged airports of Ambon and Manado.[9]

From 19 July 2011, Lion Air grounded 13 aircraft due to sanctions caused by bad on-time performance (OTP). The transportation ministry recorded that Lion Air's OTP of 66.45 percent was the worst of six airlines in an assessment conducted from January to April 2011 at 24 airports nationwide.[10][11] On the other hand, airlines using Jakarta airport faced considerable delays to their schedules due to runway congestion.[12]

On 18 November 2011, the airline jointly announced with Boeing a record-setting order of 201 Boeing 737 MAX and 29 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, setting the record for the world's biggest single order of 230 aircraft for a commercial airline worth $21.7 billion.[13]

A Lion Air Boeing 747-400 at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport

In January 2012, the Transportation Ministry said that it sanctioned Lion Air because some of its pilots and crew members were found in recent months to be in possession of crystal methamphetamine. In late 2011, Muhammad Nasri and two other co-pilots were arrested at a party in Tangerang; in early 2012 a pilot was caught with crystal meth in Makassar.[14] On 4 February 2012, another Lion Air pilot was arrested following a positive urinalysis test for use of methamphetamine; he was scheduled to fly the Surabaya-Makassar-Balikpapan—Surabaya flight hours later.[15] The licenses of the pilots and crew were revoked.[16]

On 18 March 2013, Lion Air signed a contract to purchase 234 Airbus aircraft worth US$24 billion in France and witnessed directly by French President Francois Hollande. The ordered aircraft are types of A320 and A321.[17]

Lion Air established a full service airline with the name Batik Air, which started operating in 2013 using 737-900ER. Lion Air also signed a commitment with Boeing to order five Boeing 787 Dreamliner for this airline, and this made Lion Air the first Indonesian airline to order this type since Garuda Indonesia canceled its order for the 10 Dreamliners in 2010, and is expected to be sent in 2015.[18] The airline has also considered ordering wide-body aircraft Airbus A330, but chose to buy 787's.[19]

On 31 July 2015, Lion Air officially left INACA due to a mismatch[further explanation needed] with other members.[20]

In June 2016, Lion Group was removed from the list of blacklisted airlines to fly into the EU.[21]

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, Lion Group suspended operations until 1 June. It suspended operations again on 5 June after finding few passengers could provide documents proving they were virus-free and have a business reason or family emergency requiring travel.[22] In July 2020, Lion Group announced that the airline will lay off 2,600 contract workers as demand continues to sharply decline.[23]


As of July 2020, Lion Air serves a total of 60 destinations: 41 domestic and 19 international.


The Boeing customer code for Lion Air is GP, which appears in the designation of its older Boeing aircraft as an infix, such as 737-8GP and 737-9GPER.

Current fleet

A Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER at Changi Airport
A Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER in '50th 737-900ER built' livery, also at Changi Airport
A Lion Air Airbus A330-300 at Ngurah Rai Airport

As of August 2023 the Lion Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:[24]

Lion Air fleet
Aircraft In
Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A330-300 6 440
Airbus A330-900 8 436[25]
Boeing 737-800 30 189
Boeing 737-900ER 64 2 215 Launch customer.
Boeing 737 MAX 9 3 187 220 Order consisted of both the MAX 8 and 9 variants.
Launch customer for the MAX 9 variant.
All of Lion Air's MAX 8s have been transferred to Batik Air Malaysia.[26]
Boeing 737 MAX 10 50[27] 230
Total 111 239

Fleet development and orders

Lion Air was the launch customer of the 737-900ER, seen here on the type's first flight

Lion Air was the launch customer for the largest variant of the Boeing 737, the 737-900ER, for which it placed an order in 2005. On the 2005 Paris Air Show, Lion Air signed a preliminary agreement with Boeing for the purchase of up to 60 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, valued at $3.9 billion at list prices. Lion Air confirmed their order in July 2005 and became the launch customer for the Boeing 737-900ER with firm orders for 30 aircraft and options for 30 more, which were later converted into firm orders. The -900ER can carry up to 215 passengers in a single-class layout, and is powered by CFM56-7B turbofan engines. On 27 April 2007, Boeing delivered the first 737-900ER to Lion Air. The aircraft was delivered in a special dual-paint scheme that combines Lion Air's logo on its vertical stabilizer and the Boeing "Dreamliner" livery on the fuselage.

Lion Air set a world record when it placed an order for 230 aircraft from Boeing, making this the largest order in terms of aircraft ordered as well the cost of the order. In November 2011, Lion Air and Boeing announced that the airline planned to buy 29 additional Boeing 737 Next Generation and 201 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with options for 150 more, valued at $21.7 billion at the time.[13] A firm order was signed on 14 February 2012, with the 737 MAX aircraft identified as 737 MAX 9s, making Lion Air the launch customer for that variant.[28] By the time of the signing, the order's value had risen to $22.4 billion at list prices, the largest aircraft order in history.[28] Additionally, the engines for the -900ERs, CFM 56-7s, cost about $580 million and the engines for the MAXs, CFM LEAP-1Bs, cost about $4.8 billion.[28] Deliveries of the additional NGs were to start in 2014, with the MAXs to follow in 2017.[28]

On Monday 18 March 2013 Lion Air placed an order for 234 A320 jets with Airbus, the largest single order ever made, surpassing the previous record by Boeing ($22.4 Billion). The contract, which was signed at the Elysée Palace in the presence of President François Hollande and several government ministers, was worth €18.4 billion ($24 billion) at catalogue prices, the French president said.[29]

In April 2018 Lion Air Group placed an order for fifty Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets, valued at a list price of $6.24 billion.[30]

However, following the crash of Flight 610 in October 2018, Lion Air announced that all Boeing orders would likely be cancelled.[31] The statement was further reinforced following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which eventually led to the worldwide grounding of all 737 MAX aircraft currently in service. In the days that followed after Flight 302's crash, Bloomberg News reported that Lion Air was evaluating options from Airbus, having already refused to take delivery of a 737 MAX that was going to be delivered in March 2019.[32]

The airline received its first of 10 Airbus A330-900 aircraft on 19 July 2019, becoming the first Asia/Pacific operator of the type.[33]

Former fleet

An Airbus A310 formerly of Lion Air in the Mojave Desert, California
Aircraft Total Operated Retired Notes
Airbus A310-300 1 2000 2003
Boeing 737-200 2 2001 2003
Boeing 737-300 2 2006 2014
Boeing 737-400 10 2004 2014
Boeing 747-400[34] 2 2009 2019 Replaced by Airbus A330-900. PK-LHF is preserved as the Steak 21 Restaurant in Bekasi, while PK-LHG was scrapped.
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 17 2002 2012 One crashed as Flight 538.
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 1 2003 2008
McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 5 2005 2012
Yakovlev Yak-42 5 2001 2002

Market share

Aviation market share in Indonesia (2015)[35]

  Lion Air (41.6%)
  Garuda Indonesia (23.5%)
  Sriwijaya Air (10.4%)
  Citilink (8.9%)
  Wings Air (4.7%)
  Others (6.5%)

In the 2000s Lion Air began to grow and became a serious rival for Garuda Indonesia in domestic air travel in Indonesia. By mid 2015, Lion Air led Indonesia's domestic air travel market with 41.6 percent share, while Garuda Indonesia came in second with 23.5 percent share. Sriwijaya Air came in third with a market share of 10.4 percent, followed by Garuda's low-cost subsidiary Citilink (8.9 percent) and Lion Air's regional flight service Wings Air (4.7 percent). Indonesia AirAsia, a unit of Malaysian budget airline AirAsia, had a 4.4 percent market share.[35]

Overall, Indonesian domestic air travel business is overwhelmingly ruled by two airline groups; Lion Air Group and Garuda Indonesia. By mid 2015, Lion Air Group accounted for 43.17 percent of market share, while Garuda Indonesia had 37.08 percent of market share.[36]

From 2005 to 2017, the domestic market share of Lion Air Group increased by more than 100%, from 25% to 51%, while Garuda Indonesia's increased from 24% to 33%;[37] their international market share in 2017 was 21% and 39% respectively, while Indonesia AirAsia / Indonesia AirAsia X had 36% of the international market.[38]

Incidents, accidents and other controversies

  • On 14 January 2002, Lion Air Flight 386, a Boeing 737-200 (registration PK-LID) crashed after trying to take-off with an incorrect flap configuration at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport. Everyone on board survived but the aircraft was written off. This was the first incident involving Lion Air.[39]
  • On 30 November 2004, Lion Air Flight 538, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashed in Surakarta with registration PK-LMN (c/n 49189); 25 people died.[40]
  • On 4 March 2006, Lion Air Flight 8987, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashed after landing at Juanda International Airport.[41] Reverse thrust was used during landing, although the left thrust reverser was stated to be out of service.[41] This caused the aircraft to veer to the right and skid off the runway, coming to rest about 7,000 feet (2,100 m) from the approach end of the runway.[41] There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was badly damaged[41] and later written off.[42]
  • On 24 December 2006, Lion Air Flight 792, a Boeing 737-400, landed with an incorrect flap configuration and was not aligned with the runway.[43] The aircraft landed hard and skidded along the runway causing the right main landing gear to detach, the left gear to protrude through the wing and some of the aircraft fuselage to be wrinkled.[43] There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was written off.[43]
  • On 2 November 2010, Lion Air Flight 712, a Boeing 737-400 (registration PK-LIQ) overran the runway on landing at Supadio Airport, Pontianak, coming to rest on its belly and sustaining damage to its nose gear. All 174 passengers and crew evacuated by the emergency slides, with few injuries.[44]
  • On 13 April 2013, Lion Air Flight 904, a Boeing 737-800 (registration PK-LKS; c/n 38728) from Bandung to Denpasar with 108 people on board, crashed into the water near Ngurah Rai International Airport while attempting to land. The aircraft's fuselage broke into two parts.[45] While Indonesian officials reported the aircraft crashed short of the runway,[45] reporters and photographers from Reuters and the Associated Press indicated that the aircraft overshot the runway.[46][47] All passengers and crew were evacuated from the aircraft and there were no fatalities.[45]
  • On 9 January 2015, following the fatal crash of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501, 53 routes operated by Lion Air and its subsidiaries were revoked by the transportation ministry as the airline had not been approved to fly. Among the 61 routes, Lion Air had the largest share.[48]
  • On 29 October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed in the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.[49]
  • In March 2019, former Indonesian transportation safety investigators and a former Lion Air employee claimed that Lion Air had attempted to bribe transportation safety officials, including crash investigators, in at least one case with the knowledge of now-President Director of Lion Air, Edward Sirait.[50]
  • In September 2019, Lion Air confirmed the leak of around 35 million customer's data, which includes passport details, home address, and phone numbers.[51]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Airbus-Boeing battle shifts to Indonesia | Inquirer Business". 24 March 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 106.
  3. ^ "Lion Air runs charter flights from Batam to Busan, Incheon". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Lion Air Places $6.2b Order for 50 Cutting Edge Boeing Passenger Jets". The Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  5. ^ "EU Lifts IranAir, Indonesia's Lion Air from Safety Blacklist". BeritaSatu. 16 June 2016. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Indonesia plane crash: Lion Air was rated seven stars, upgraded to top safety tier in June". The Indian Express. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  7. ^ Thomas, Geoffrey (8 June 2018). "Bali based airlines Garuda Indonesia and Batik Air earn highest safety rating after audit". The Sunday Times (PerthNow). Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  8. ^ "The Lion Roars". Airliner World: 88–96. February 2015.
  9. ^ "Boeing, Lion Air pioneer precision satellite navigation technology". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Surabaya Post".
  11. ^ "Lion, Batavia pledge to improve performance". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  12. ^ Citrinot, Luc (18 November 2010). "JAKARTA AIRPORT CONGESTION Some solutions to decongest Jakarta Soekarno Hatta Airport?". Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Boeing sets record with $22 billion order". CNN Money. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  14. ^ "Lion air sanctioned over pilots with crystal meth". 11 January 2012. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012.
  15. ^ "Lagi, Pilot Lion Air Nyabu Ditangkap BNN". 4 February 2012. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012.
  16. ^ "Lisensi Pilot Pesawat Lion Air Langsung Dicabut". (in Indonesian). Jakarta. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  17. ^ Artikel:"Kisah Penjual Mesin Tik asal RI yang Kini Membeli Ratusan Pesawat Airbus dan Boeing" di
  18. ^ Govindasamy, Siva (9 June 2012). "IATA: Lion's Batik Air to the competition in Southeast Asia". Flightglobal. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  19. ^ Walker, Karen (8 June 2012). ft-engines-components / news / lion-air-signs-dreamliner-commitment-premium-carrier-0608 "Lion Air Dreamliner commitment for premium carrier signs". Air Transport World. Retrieved 10 June 2012. {{cite news}}: Check |url= value (help)
  20. ^ Lion Air 'Cerai' dari INACA Karena Sudah Tak Sepaham
  21. ^ "Aviation Safety: Commission updates EU air safety list – Iran and Africa make progress". European Commission - Mobility and Transport. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  22. ^ Lion Air to Ground All Flights on Friday as Passengers Fail to Comply With Covid-19 Health Protocol
  23. ^ "Lion Air Lets Go of 2,600 Workers as Pandemic Pressure Intensified". Jakarta Globe. 6 July 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Lion Air Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  25. ^ Gubisch, Michael. "PICTURE: Lion Air receives its first A330neo". FlightGlobal. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  26. ^ "Lion Air Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  27. ^ "Lion Air Group Order 50 Units Boeing 737 MAX 10". Archived from the original on 10 May 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  28. ^ a b c d "Lion Air Firms Up Boeing Order". Aviation International News. 14 February 2012. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  29. ^ "Disaksikan Presiden Prancis, Lion Air Pesan 234 Pesawat Airbus A320". 18 March 2013.
  30. ^ "Indonesia's Lion Air Roars With Large Order for Boeing Jets". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Lion Air, furious at Boeing over crash blame, may cancel billions in orders". South China Morning Post. 4 December 2018. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  32. ^ "Lion Air Said to Plan Airbus Order Switch After Boeing 737 Crash",, 11 March 2019, updated 12 March 2019.
  33. ^ "Airbus Deliveries". Airliner World. October 2019: 16.
  34. ^ "PICTURES: Lion Air retires Indonesia's last Boeing 747-400". FlightGlobal. 25 March 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Lion Loses Market Share as Air Travel Growth Slows". Jakarta Globe. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  36. ^ Safyra Primadhyta & Gentur Putro Jati (4 June 2015). "Garuda Indonesia Gerus Pangsa Pasar Penumpang Domestik Lion". CNN Indonesia (in Indonesian).
  37. ^ Indonesia domestic airline market: rapid growth, rivalry intensifies Indonesia domestic airline market: rapid growth, rivalry intensifies CAPA, 30 April 2018
  38. ^ Indonesia: international aviation. Rapid growth and strong competition CAPA, 8 June 2018
  39. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-291 PK-LID Pekanbaru-Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport (PKU)".
  40. ^ "Accident: Fatal Accident in 2004". The Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  41. ^ a b c d "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 25 December 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  42. ^ "PK-LMW Lion Air McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (DC-9-82)". Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  43. ^ a b c "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  44. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: Lionair B734 at Pontianak on Nov 2nd 2010, overran runway on landing". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  45. ^ a b c Hradecky, Simon (14 April 2013). "Accident: Lionar B738 at Denpasar on Apr 13th 2013, came to stop in sea". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  46. ^ "All passengers safe as Lion Air plane overshoots runway in Bali". Daily News and Analysis. 13 April 2013.
  47. ^ "Investigators seek cause of new Boeing 737's crash into sea". 14 April 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  48. ^ Heribertus Sulis Setyanto (9 January 2015). "Lima Maskapai Langgar Izin Terbang, Lion Air Terbanyak".
  49. ^ Collie, Jason; Williams, Sophie (29 October 2018). "Lion Air plane crash latest: 'No survivors' after Indonesia passenger jet crashes with 189 on board". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  50. ^ "Lion Air Crash Families Say They Were Pressured to Sign No-Suit Deal". The New York Times. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  51. ^ Expat, Indonesia (20 September 2019). "35 million Passengers' Data Leaked from Lion Air Group". Indonesia Expat. Retrieved 5 December 2020.


External links

  Media related to Lion Air at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ Jet, Lion Business. "Lion BizJet". Retrieved 28 November 2018. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)