SINGAPORE: Indonesia’s Lion Air is close to signing a deal for 10 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner passenger jets, with a total list price of US$1.9bil, as the budget carrier aims to tap the long-haul market.
Two sources involved in the deal said that Lion Air preferred the newer carbon-composite Boeing Dreamliner over the Airbus A330.
The deal is expected to be signed in Jakarta on June 8 as Lion Air celebrates its 12th anniversary.
Such a move by Lion Air would put more pressure on Garuda Indonesia Tbk and AirAsia Bhd because it would be able to serve a broader range of destinations.
Lion Air’s founder and chief executive Rusdi Kirana said in February the Indonesian low-cost carrier was in negotiations with Airbus and Boeing to buy Airbus A330s or Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Lion Air was not immediately available for comment. A Boeing spokeswoman declined to comment.
One of the sources said the Dreamliner would help Lion Air’s marketing campaign with an image of fuel efficiency and the latest technology.
“Dreamliner is a new design, it is based on the latest technology, while the A330 is basically an old (design),” said a source, who declined to be identified because of the confidentiality of the talks.
If the financing terms from both manufacturers were equal, he said, Lion Air would choose the Dreamliner over the A330.
The deal, once finalised, would mean Boeing managed to keep Airbus away from its top customer.
Lion Air recently signed a record order for US$22.4bil worth of Boeing 737 single aisle jets. – Reuters
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