JAKARTA - Low-cost carrier Lion Mentari Airlines confirmed that it plans to sign an agreement for the purchase of 60 aircraft from Boeing worth 3.9 bln usd. Lion Air spokesman Hasyim Arsal Alhabsi told Agence France-Presse that the company is likely to order 737-800 and 737-900 aircraft as part of a memorandum of understanding due to be signed in the US this week.
'The total number of aircraft ordered stands at 60 but we still have the option to pick the type of airplanes later,' he said. The deal signing ceremony is expected to be presided over by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who is currently on an official visit to Washington.
Alhabsi declined to give details on the financing of the purchase but said it will be mostly funded by Lion with contributions from a consortium of companies and bank loans. The airplanes will be delivered starting from early 2006, he said. He said the new planes will partly replace the company's current fleet of McDonnell-Douglas jets and will also open up new domestic and international routes.