Ambitious Indonesian airline group Lion Air said on Monday it plans to open an Australian unit of its Batik Air division next year with an initial fleet of four planes, rolling its brands out to other countries in future. "Starting next year we will open a new unit in Australia and we will not stop there," chief executive Rusdi Kirana told reporters on Monday. "We will do more international expansion." Kirana said that Lion Air's foreign businesses, including Malaysian Malindo and Thai Lion Air, will contribute up to 30 percent of revenue in the next three years. Lion Air also expects seven new Airbus aircraft to be delivered this year, anticipating passenger numbers will grow this year to around 40 million from 38 million last year. It also aimed to have a fleet of 1,000 aircraft in total by 2030, injecting up to $70 billion investment. In September, the airline said it wanted to increase its international scope by setting up affiliate airlines. It owns 49 percent of Malaysia's Malindo Air and hopes to set up a Thai joint venture this year. (Reuters)

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