Over the past couple of decades, aircraft and engine technology have quietly had a massive impact on the way the airline system works. One example – the Gulf carriers have been able to transform long haul aviation as extra long haul widebody aircraft became available.
More recently long haul low cost airlines became a force as long haul smaller twin jets enabled their operations, first in Asia and now in Europe. The next phase in this evolution is the introduction of the new long range narrowbody A320neos and 737s. These aircraft make it possible to link much smaller city pairs where previously passengers would have needed to fly one stop via a hub. The local economic impact of this sort of access at smaller regional points can be enormously valuable.
Indonesia-based Lion Air group’s Batik Air CEO Achmad Luthfie told us this month that the airline plans to pursue significant expansion in the Australia-Bali market in 2019. The airline will take delivery of new generation narrow body long haul A320neo family aircraft. The Batik CEO said his airline is looking at serving several Australian airports, including smaller regional destinations.