Lion Air has formally become the launch customer for ’s 737-9 MAX by finalizing terms for a deal that includes 201 of the reengined , 29 737-900ERs, and purchase rights for 150 more aircraft.
The MAX deal has flexibility for Lion Air to take -8s and -9s.
Deliveries of the $22.4 billion deal (at list price) begin in 2016 for the additional -900ERs and in 2017 for the MAX, says airline founder Rusdi Kirana.
If the ASEAN open skies agreement progresses, the airline may use all the additional narrowbodies for growth, effectively giving it a fleet of around 408 737s in 2026 when the firm portion of the MAX deal is delivered.
Lion Air plans to keep the bulk of the aircraft on its balance sheet, but may resort to sale-and-leaseback agreements for 10-15%. The deal is receiving backing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
By year-end, the airline plans to grow its traffic to 100,000 passengers a day.
Also, to further support its expansion plans, it is looking to set up a hub in Manado, Indonesia.
For Boeing, the deal brings its firm MAX orderbook to three customers:, and its first Asian customer with Lion Air.