AP News

News Summary: Lion Air to set up budget carrier

BARN STORMING: Indonesia's Lion Air is setting up a low-cost airline in Malaysia that will take off in May 2013 as part of an aggressive regional expansion.

AIM LOW: The move will have Lion Air, which controls nearly half the air travel market in Indonesia, playing catch-up to the region's top budget carrier AirAsia. It follows AirAsia's recent acquisition of Batavia Air in a bid to capitalize on Indonesia's population of 230 million potential fliers.

QUANTITY: Lion Air President Rusdi Kirana said tickets prices will be competitive, either in the same range as rival AirAsia or lower. The airline's planes will be fitted with fewer than the usual 180 seats coupled with inflight entertainment and light meals, he said. It aims to offset lower revenue per plane due to fewer seats with higher frequency flights.

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