JAKARTA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia's budget carrier pioneer Lion Air said Wednesday it was preparing funds to acquire shares in airlines in six Asian countries as part of the company's ambition to boost its global presence.
Lion Air will buy stakes in airlines in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh and South Korea at the amount permitted under their respective laws.
"We have been collecting funds from internal and external sources. The budget ranges from 50 million U.S. dollars to 100 million dollars per airline," Lion Air spokesman Hasyim Alhabsi told reporters here.
He said the regional expansion was the consequence of the purchase of 120 brand new Boeing 737-900ERs for deliveries in the next five years.
"We cannot put that many airplanes in Indonesia alone," he added.
The nearest aim was to buy airlines in Thailand, Vietnam and Bangladesh, he said without elaborating.
The acquired airline will bear the company's name, so they change to Vietnam Lion Air or Thai Lion Air, he said.
Lion Air now serves 120 flights with up to 35,000 passengers per day on domestic routes. It plans to fly Hong Kong in December and already opened a representative office.