Boeing and Lion Air Sign Record-Breaking Deal

As developed countries focus on their economic woes, it has been suggested that so-called emerging economies of the world, such as Africa and Asia, should be targeted by developed countries for the promotion of trade ties. Many see President Barack Obama’s visit to the Asia-Pacific region as being an endorsement of this view, which has further been boosted by the US$21.7 billion order placed with Boeing by Indonesia’s domestic airline, Lion Air – the biggest single order in the history of the renowned aircraft manufacturer.

The initial US$21.7 billion order is for 201 Boeing 737 MAX jets, plus 29 of Boeing’s next generation 737-900 aircraft with extended range. Moreover, there is a possibility of a further 150 aircraft being ordered, which would bring the total value of the deal up to US$35 billion. The deal between Boeing and Lion Air is considered to be of such importance that President Obama will attend the signing ceremony. US authorities have emphasized the potential employment opportunities this deal will open up for Americans, which is good news as the country’s jobless population grows. It is estimated that more than 110,000 jobs will be supported by the deal, either directly by Boeing or through aviation related products and services around the United States. In addition to being the largest commercial airplane order that Boeing has received in its 95-year history, both in total number of airplanes and monetary value, the deal is one of the largest trade deals ever concluded between Indonesia and the United States.

Based in Jakarta, Lion Air was founded in 1999 with operating hubs at the Surabaya Juanda International Airport and Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. As Indonesia’s largest private carrier, Lion Air offers business and economy class services. With an all-Boeing fleet, Lion Air flies to 55 domestic and 4 international destinations. Having taken delivery of the first of the Boeing Next-General 737-900 ER on 27 April 2007, Lion Air became the first commercial airline to operate the new model.

It has been reported that Lion Air has plans to establish a joint-venture with a Malaysian regional carrier, and should this be successful the airline will expand its destinations accordingly – all of which may very well lead to more business for Boeing in the emerging economy of Indonesia.