BATAM, Indonesia Aug 30 Indonesia's Lion Group,
whose budget carrier Lion Air operates in one of the world's
most competitive regions, will spend $250 million to build its
second maintenance hub as it takes delivery of more than 500
jets from Airbus and Boeing.
The hub at the Indonesian island of Batam, just 20
kilometres (12.5 miles) from neighbouring Singapore, will be
completed by the end of 2016, officials told reporters on a tour
of the site on Thursday.
Passenger traffic in Southeast Asia has expanded rapidly,
driven by expanding economies, growing middle-class affluence
and the rise of the budget airline. Low-cost carriers such as
Lion Air, AirAsia, Tiger Airways and Qantas
Airways' Jetstar account for about 50 percent of seat capacity
in the region.
In Indonesia, as airlines expand aggressively, they face a
challenge to service their growing fleets. The country also
struggles to improve its civil air safety after a string of
Lion Group's airlines are currently serviced from one hangar
in Surabaya in east Java.
The facility at Batam will have four wide body hangars, of
which two will be completed by this year and the rest by the end
of June 2014, said Romdani Adali Adang, the president of Lion
Technic, a unit of Lion Group.
The facility will have both airframe and engine maintenance,
repair and overhaul capabilities.
The proximity to Singapore means Lion's maintenance hub can
tap Singapore's logistics network, facilitating access to spare
parts and components.
Lion Technic, which has a staff strength of 2,500, will
employ 2,000 additional staff at the facility by end-2016.