Lion Air’s slogan is “We make people fly”.
On Saturday 13th April, the airline did not quite live up to their promise ditching a 737-800 and 101 passengers and seven crew into the sea.
All survived -22 with injuries. The plane is a write-off.
Lion Air began flying in Indonesia in 2000. They commenced with one plane. Lion Air now connects 36 Indonesia cities plus destinations Singapore, Malaysian destinations and Ho Ch Minh in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. Their website says their fleet consists of 15 737-800s, 16 MD90s, ten 737-400s and two 737-300s. Not sure how the 737-800 fits in? In March this year Lion air signed a $24 Billion contract with Airbus for 234 A320s, the biggest commercial airline order in history. Lion Air also has the world’s second biggest order on record with Boeing for 230 Boeing 737s.
Lion Air does not have an official Skytrax record but passengers rate the flying experience at 5.2 out of 1o. Seat pitch (distance between seats) in the Economy cabin is a tight 29″. Food and drink is available on board for sale although it is provided on long distance flights.
In 2011, Lion tried to become the second IATA Indonesian member carrier after Garuda but failed due to safety concerns. Lion Air is banned from operating in European airspace by the European Commission after Lion Air was found to be too unsafe to conduct operations in any European state. Most other carriers in Indonesia share this distinction.
Since starting, the airline has had seven accidents (including this last one). The most serious resulted in the death of 25 people in 2004 when an MD 82 skidded off the runway in heavy rain and crashed into a nearby cemetery in Solo, central Java.
The airline also faced scandal in 2012 when a Lion Air pilot was caught in possession of crystal methamphetamine in a karaoke bar in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and three other co-pilots were arrested at a drug party in Tangerang.
On Saturday, Flight JT-904 departed Bandung Airport (BDO) in western Java at 12:48pm for a domestic flight to Denpasar, Bali. There were 95 adults, five children and an infant, along with seven crew on board the 737-800 registered PK-LKS. At the time of the approach at around 335pm. there were reports of varying winds with the wind direction varying between 110 and 270 degrees. Eyewitnesses reported rain.
According to the Ministry of Transportation, the aeroplane came down in the water just short of the runway while on final approach to runway 09. Others have said, the plane apparently landed on the runway but didn’t stop. The plane’s fuselage split in two just behind the wings, and the plane is half submerged in the shallow water.The pilot blamed wind shear for the crash.
.Aviation authorities have already obtained the plane’s flight data recorder. They are planning to tow the aircraft and retrieve the cockpit voice recorder located in the tail.
What interested me is how many passengers described not knowing the evacuation procedures forgetting about life rafts and life jackets.
So, would you fly Lion Air, one of the world’s fastest growing budget airlines?
Would you fly Lion Air, one of the world's fastest growing budget carriers?
- Not ever (80%, 123 Votes)
- Only if much cheaper (12%, 18 Votes)
- Without hesitation (8%, 13 Votes)
Total Voters: 154