This past weekend, Lion Air Flight 904 went down at the island of Bali. This most recent crash is likely to keep the airline on the European Union airline safety blacklist. This is terrible news for the carrier since it just purchased a huge number of Boeing and Airbus jets. However, if the airline is on the salty blacklist, it’s not going to be able to fly to the European Union.
Lion Air, which is based in Indonesia, is being probed by investigators. Right now the main thing people want to know is why or how this Boeing 737 passenger jet was able to miss the runway and run into shallow nearby waters. The crash happened near the Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Despite crashing into the sea and snapping in half, none of the passengers or crew members on board were killed. In order to better understand this crash, the National Transportation Safety Committee has already removed the plane’s flight data recorder. However, divers have still not been able to locate the cockpit voice recorder at the time of this writing. They only have a limited amount of time to find this recorder before its homing beckon runs out, making it almost impossible to find.
There is some good news for Lion Air, however. Early investigation reports show that witnesses and even local weather reports suggest that wind shear may have played a role in this crash. This would mean that it was not human error that led to the crashing of the plane. However, at this point it is still way too early to rule anything out.
In fact, there are some investigators that still believe that pilot error was the reason for the crash in the first place. If this is the case, Lion Air is going to find itself on the EU airline blacklist for a long time to come. Of course, they only think this because of Indonesia’s less than great aviation record to date.
All of this is bad news for Lion Air. That is because this airline, which has been around since 2000, gave Boeing its largest ever order. This deal is worth some 230 planes. Not only that, just last month the airline also signed a deal with Airbus to buy some 234 planes. This is a lot of planes for an airline that finds itself on the blacklist.
Right now, Lion Air finds itself with some 560 narrow-body planes pending. This is more than any other carrier in the world. It has spent more than $45 billion on these deals. The airline already holds about 45% of the market in Indonesia as it is. Thus, it is unlikely that it could use this many planes in just one area. The demand for planes in one area is simply not that high.
The real question is: When can Lion Air start flying to Europe again? During the past few years, a number of things have been going wrong for Lion Air. This includes five pilots for the airline that were arrested during the past two years because of drugs.