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Indonesia's Lion Air to Buy 49% of a Brisbane-based Airline

Move Reflects Market Acquisition Strategy of Buying Shares in Foreign Carriers.

(1/16/2008) A number of press reports are suggesting that Indonesian Lion Air (PT Lion Mentari Airlines) is eyeing a 49% share in an Australian domestic air carrier as a possible precursor to establishing a feeder network for the establishment of international flights between Indonesia and Australia.

Australian press reports say that discussions are at an advanced stage between Lion Air and Brisbane-based Sky Air World.

News.Com.Au quotes the CEO of Sky Air World, David Charlton, as confirming a 51%/49% ownership split with the Indonesian Airline, saying, "as a result of the deal Lion Air Australia will have the same air traffic rights to operate here as any Australian-owned airline."

On the assumption that the deal will be formalized shortly, Lion Air Australia is expected to begin operating six extended range Boeing 737s before the end of 2008.

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