Lion Group has decided to make Batam, an island in Indonesia with very close proximity to Singapore, as its second major hub after Jakarta. International passengers will benefit from this decision, as next year Lion Group plans to launch international services from Batam.
Overseas destinations it aims to serve from Batam include points in southern China such as Guangzhou and Hong Kong. It also plans to serve Bangkok (Thailand) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) from Batam, as well as destinations in India, such as New Delhi and Mumbai. The flying distance from Batam to Northeast Asia and India is shorter than Jakarta.
Rusdi Kirana, president director, Lion Group said, “Batam is ideally located for people wishing to travel between eastern and western Indonesia. The distance is actually shorter if you transit in Batam rather than flying further south to Jakarta to transit. This is a ‘win-win’ situation for consumers and for the airline. The shorter flying time makes flying more convenient for passengers and it means aircraft burn less fuel, leading to significant cost savings.”
The group in recent months has also increased the number of domestic destinations it serves from Batam to 15 and aims to eventually serve 20 domestic destinations in Indonesia from Batam.
Lion Air will, be launching a daily non-stop service on January 29, 2014 from Batam to Pontianak using Boeing 737-800s and has plans to launch a Batam-Makassar and Batam-Bali Denpasar service.