The Straits Times
Published on Sep 13, 2012

AirAsia ready to take on new Lion Air rival: Fernandes


KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes has vowed to give Indonesian rival Lion Air "a real run for their money" after it announced plans for a new low-cost carrier, a report said on Thursday.

Indonesia's PT Lion Mentari Airlines and Malaysia's National Aerospace and Defense Industries (Nadi) said on Tuesday their Malindo Airways would launch flights around the region from Kuala Lumpur in May next year, a direct assault on AirAsia's home turf.

AirAsia has long been based near Kuala Lumpur but Mr Fernandes, a Malaysian, recently opened a regional headquarters in Jakarta and purchased Indonesia's Batavia Air for US$80 million (S$98 million).

"We are thrilled that they are coming here as this means taking away capacity from Indonesia. We can give them a real run for their money in Indonesia," he was quoted by Malaysia's The Edge Financial Daily as saying.