Friday, 25 August 2017

New Lion Air 737-8 Max enters the fleet

One of Malindo / Batik Malaysia's unloved 737-8 Maxes has found a new home with Lion Air as PK-LQM and ferried from Subang to Jakarta CGK today at 1830 local time.  This is the former 9M-LRF which delivered to the Group on June 27 but never entered revenue service with Malindo.  It flew Boeing Field-Anchorage-Tokyo NRT-Kuala Lumpur KUL on June 27-29 and sat inactive at KUL until August 2 when it was ferried the short distance to Subang for preparation for Lion Air.

Of Malindo's other two Maxes, 9M-LRC, is still in service for the airline but only on Chinese charter flights but their other - 9M-LRD - only operated a total of 14 rotations between June 28 and July 3 before being withdrawn from use and parked on a remote stand at KUL where it's been sat inactive for coming up to 2 months now.

According to sources, 9M-LRD is possibly destined for Lion Air as well, apparently due to a high number of complaints from passengers over the lack of business class as these frames have a single class layout.

Currently Lion Air now has five 737-8 Maxes in their inventory - PK-LQJ, PK-LQF, PK-LQH, PK-LQG and PK-LQM, with a sixth frame PK-LQI due to join the fleet in a few months fresh from the factory.  PK-LQG arrived at Jakarta CGK in the early hours of this morning (25th) local time from Boeing Field via Honolulu and Guam, while PK-LQM arrived at 2010 local time.  Of these frames, PK-LQF/H/G are all in standard Lion Air livery, PK-LQJ is in a hybrid Batik Air/Lion Air livery and PK-LQM livery is not yet known.

It seems that the identity crisis over the branding within the Group continues unabated as news has recently surfaced that Malindo's brand new A330s are now not being taken up and going to Thai Lion Air instead, but at least one of them has been spotted in Batik Air livery!  Déjà vu anyone?

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