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Mysterious new airline aimed at millennials to launch during pandemic

Newshub logo Newshub 4/05/2021 Dan Lake
a group of people standing around a plane © Provided by Newshub

Super Air Jet is a budget airline aimed at "tech-obsessed" millennials set to launch later this year, however not much more is known about the mysterious new company.

While the exact ownership structure is yet to be confirmed, sources told Reuters the airline was linked to the Lion Air Group.

Super Air Jet's CEO Ari Azhari is also the general manager of Lion Air Group, and the announcement of the new airline was made via a Lion Air spokesperson; however they wouldn't answer questions about how the airlines were linked.

Lion Air is itself a low-cost airline, so the move to launch another low-cost carrier in the same market has some industry experts scratching their heads.

The Lion Air Group also owns full service airline Batik Air as well as a regional airline, a business jet company and an air freight airline, providing its owners with the lion's share of the Indonesian airline market.

Super Air Jet is currently going through the process of becoming a licenced airline, and once that is completed, it will launch with a fleet of Airbus SE A320s.

a group of people standing around a plane © Provided by Newshub

"Super Air Jet was founded on the basis of optimism that market opportunities especially for domestic flights in Indonesia still exist and are wide open," Azhari said. 

"There is very strong demand from the community for air travel today, especially from millennials."

Independent aviation analyst Brendan Sobie told Reuters Super Air Jet would be taking advantage of cheap aircraft lease costs with hundreds of aircraft sitting unused around the world.

Aviation commentator Ben Schlappig wrote an article speculating the new airline could be an attempt by Lion Air to distance itself from its mixed reputation and negative international perception.

In October 2018 a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed in the Java Sea killing all 189 people on board. In March 2019, retired transportation officials and a former Lion Air employee accused Lion Air of attempting to bribe aviation safety officials, including crash investigators. And, just months later the airline confirmed the leak of around 35 million customer's personal data, including passport and address details as well as phone numbers.

"If you ask me, maybe Lion Air should focus on investing in a better safety culture (since Lion Air's issues pre-dated the 737 MAX crash), rather than investing in yet another airline brand," Schlappig wrote.

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