Written by Mr Kenji San (GNFI contributor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

After Garuda Indonesia starts their expansion through Asia-Pacific Region since the ends of last year, it’s now followed by Lion Air, Batavia Air.

Lion Air had their first Boeing 747-400 aircraft arrived at Jakarta by last week. Registered as PK-LHF, this Queen of The Skies completely fit with red-huge Lion Air’s logo on its tail section. Another Lion’s 747 is still on repainting progress at Kualalumpur, registered as PK-LHG. Both are previously went with Singapore Airlines, Spainish carrier – Iberia, and Hongkong based Low Cost Carrier – Oasis Hongkong.

Lion Air's Boeing 747-400 at Soekarno-Hatta Int'l, Jakarta. Photo by Achdiyatma Reza.

The 747s will serve Jakarta-Jeddah route to carry Indonesian Pilgrims and Indonesian workers 4 times a week, or depends on demands, starting from 28th of June 2009. The aircraft capacity itself can carries 498 passengers with two classes configuration, 20 seats for business class and 478 seats for economy. Long haul 8 hours nonstop flight will not be bored because for every seats are integrated with personal tv and entertainment system. And also, they planned to use this aircraft for domestic high demand route, Jakarta-Surabaya or Jakarta.

BATAVIA AIR with Airbus A330-300

And the story goes with Batavia Air. They planned to buy some Airbus 330-200 and -300 series to serve Jakarta-Jeddah route this year. And everyone starts asking, why in the world some airlines really wants to fly this line? Simple! because of its demand! Existing airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Saudi Arabia Airlines always overwhelmed by the demand on every flights. Not only for middle east, these aircrafts will serve some domestic routes, Jakarta-Medan or Jakarta-Manado.

Competition becomes tight, and even more. Whoever cares their passengers, give the best service, and have excellent safety records, will wins the game. And for the passengers, don’t have to wait for being sent to middle east to fly these widebodies with all of their passion or something else. Just plan to spend your time with beloved family and enjoy the beauty of Indonesia. Go with them to Surabaya, Denpasar, Medan, Makassar, or Manado.

One more thing, the winner of this game actually is yourself, Indonesians!