Ready to roar | Bangkok Post: business

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Ready to roar

With huge aircraft orders in hand, upstart Lion Air of Indonesia serves notice to AirAsia that its dominance of the regional budget market is no longer assured.

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The airline industry in Asia-Pacific is witnessing major changes, few of them bigger than the emergence of Lion Air, which is placing orders for nearly 500 aircraft over the years to come. 

Rusdi Kirana, the co-founder and CEO of the Indonesian carrier, not the sort of airline executive who is seen regularly at major aviation events. But he was present in person to confirm the single largest order in the history of Airbus Industrie in France.

He was not the only executive in a buying mood, but others in the airline industry agree that the market in Asia is likely to see growth at levels not seen in decades. Aviation has been on the rise in the region for the past decade despite setbacks such as the Sars outbreak, bird flu, and years of economic weakness in the traditional markets for many Asian airlines, Europe and United States.

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