Earlier this week, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced a new low-cost airline, borne out of a collaboration between National Aerospace and Defence Industries Sdn Bhd (Nadi) and Indonesia’s largest privately-run airline group, PT Lion Group.
Named, “Malindo” (Malaysia + Indonesia), the airline is slated to begin operations on 1st May 2013 and will be based in KLIA 2. Malindo will first take off with a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, before expanding it to 100 aircraft within a decade.
The setup is said to be further proof that the relationship between Malaysia and Indonesia is close, and that it reflects the long intertwined history of the people of both countries. Malindo is also expect to meet the market demand, as low cost flights have become the main means of travel for wanderlusting consumers. (Source)
However, this puts things into a more “sticky situation”-esque perspective, considering the fact that Malaysia already has a leading low cost/budget airline, AirAsia Bhd. As much as Malindo will begin with offering connectivity across the region between different cities in Malaysia and various parts of Indonesia, eventually it plans to offer flights to Thailand, China, India, Japan, and Australia. (Source)
Although AirAsia Chief Executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has quickly released a statement to say that the new budget airline could pose as a threat to AirAsia (Source), we highly suspect times of rivalry and price wars ahead.
Malindo Air has received the air operators’ license from the Malaysian government to operate in the country. This means that Malindo can now start selling tickets for its low fare operations. It will start flying at end-March.