Speaking to the Jakarta Post, Strait said the Vietnamese venture, which will operate under the Group's "Batik" brand, will likely launch during the second half of 2017 using three B737s. Talks with an unspecified local Vietnamese partner are currently underway, he added.
Insofar as India is concerned, Strait said the government there had welcomed the firm's investment plans without elaborating any further.
Aside from its Lion Air (JT, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta) mainline budget operation, Lion Group also carries out full-service flights under its "Batik" brand. At present, Batik Air (ID, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta) operates within Indonesia along with Malindo Air (OD, Kuala Lumpur Int'l), which will shortly rebrand as Batik Air (Malaysia) (OD, Kuala Lumpur Int'l). Plans to launch Aussie Batik in Australia fell through after a market analysis showed the venture would have needed more capacity to hit critical mass than what Lion Group was prepared to allocate.
"The expansion to Malaysia and Thailand needs a lot of planes, so it is not enough to serve the Australian market," Lion Air co-founder Rusdi Kirana said. "If we insisted on operating with a limited number of planes, it will not be able to reach economies of scale."