Lion in Talks to Buy 50 Bombardier Planes on Asian Travel

PT Lion Mentari Airlines, Indonesia’s biggest carrier, plans to buy 50 aircraft from Bombardier Inc. amid a surge in travel across Asia Pacific.

Lion Air is in discussions to buy the CSeries aircraft, Leithen Francis, the airline’s spokesman, said in an e-mail today. The Indonesian carrier is in talks with Bombardier about being the initial customer for the CS300 model and may announce an order at next year’s Farnborough Air Show, Chief Executive Officer Rusdi Kirana said in September.

From Indonesia to Vietnam, carriers in Southeast Asia are buying new aircraft as about 600 million people -- or the combined population of the U.S., Germany and Brazil -- fly more. Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS, the world’s two biggest planemakers, both count on Asian airlines to buy more aircraft in the next two decades as economic growth in the region enables more people to take flights.

Lion Air already has 700 planes on order and expects to have ordered 1,000 aircraft within two to three years, Kirana said in March. The Jakarta-based carrier agreed to buy 230 Boeing 737 planes last year and ordered 234 planes from Airbus in March.

Bombardier has said the CSeries, which features the new geared turbofan engine from United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney, will cost about 15 percent less to operate, cut fuel burn by about 20 percent and produce less noise.

At the end of September, the company had on order 177 CSeries planes from customers including Korean Air Lines Co. and Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

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