Lion Air Invocation Card. Indonesia, March 2013.

Say Your Prayers on Lion Air (bis)

  Indonesia: Weda [Halmahera] + Bangka [Sulawesi] - March 2013

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

The Indonesian company Lion Air has a unique trick. In the seat pocket, along with the safety instructions, there is a booklet of special prayers for the plane.

Invocation Card

It can be surprising. The Indonesian low-cost company Lion Air may be modernizing and equipping itself with brand new planes, but it continues to offer passengers, in the seat pocket, a booklet that seems to me to be from another age. Entitled Doa-Doa Perjalanan / Invocation Card, it contains prayers, for all religions.

Comforting for some, surely... But praying for the sky to be favorable, for the plane to work well and for the crew to bring the plane and all its passengers to a safe destination, I doubt very much that it will have any impact on the flight. Anyway, it can't hurt...

I had already talked about it on this blog, during my very first trip to Sulawesi in 2007:

→ How Effective Prayers Are on Lion Air

Each time, I am amused to discover this booklet of prayers. This does not prevent me from respecting the beliefs of others, whatever they may be, as long as none are imposed on me.

Lion Air, the rising airline

With Air AsiaLion Air is the company I have taken most often, for my travels in the huge Indonesian archipelago.

Lion Air. Jakarta airport. Java, Indonesia. March 2013.
Lion Air planes at the Jakarta airport. Java, Indonesia, March 2013.

Lion Air is beginning to seriously compete with Air Asia in Indonesia, both in terms of prices and routes (as of June 2013, they had 36 destinations and 226 daily flights on their website).

The company has grown significantly in recent years and continues to expand and renew its fleet (including the purchase of Airbus aircrafts to France).

Lion Air Routes. March 2013.

During my March 2013 trip to IndonesiaSo I flew on Lion Air again, like almost every time I went there! On the way to Halmahera (Jakarta-Ternate flight), then to join Sulawesi (flight Ternate-Manado), where my final destination was the island of Bangka.

But... the blacklist?

I've often been asked this question... At the time I published this article (2013), all Indonesian airlines were blacklisted, except for Garuda (the national carrier) and Air Asia Indonesia (the Malaysian lowcost carrier that is expanding all over Asia). But in a few years, things have fortunately evolved in the right direction. I made two updates recently:

UPDATE 2018 : on June 14, 2018, ALL Indonesian companies were REMOVED from the European Union's blacklist. You can consult the list directly on the website of the French government here → June 2018: the blacklist of banned airlines in the EU., as well as on the website of the European Commission → Air safety: press release.

UPDATE 2017 : Lion Air is no longer on the European Union's blacklist of banned airlines (the complete list is available in PDF to download on the website of the European Commission). This post was first published in 2013 and since then, safety has improved, in the Indonesian sky! So, among the commercial passenger airlines complying with EU safety standards, there are now:
→ Garuda Indonesia and its low-cost subsidiary Citilink
→ Air Asia Indonesia

→ Lion Air and its subsidiary Batik Air

When I travel in Indonesia, I try as much as possible to fly on the most reliable companies. But to reach some parts of the archipelago, we don't always have the choice, Garuda doesn't fly everywhere. So yes, I have flown in the past with companies that were blacklisted.

I add in passing this link from SlateA very interesting article, signed in 2013 by the "Breton-Indonesian" journalist Gurvan KristanadjajaThis article provides a good overview of Lion Air's development and the Indonesian airline market:
→ Indonesia, the country of low-cost aviation

Batavia, which was one of the few not to be blacklisted, went bankrupt early 2013 I was supposed to take one of their flights, precisely, for this trip in March 2013... Too bad for me, I had already bought my ticket. With the "bangkrut" I had to sit on it and buy another ticket. Only Lion Air was operating the route on the day and time that was convenient for me, so I opted again for a flight with a prayer booklet included.

Too bad for Lion Air that there was this failed landing in Baliin April 2013. I admit, I shuddered in retrospect, when I came back from Indonesia... But according to the testimony of a French passenger, row 26 brings good luck

UPDATED OCTOBER 2018 : a Lion Air aircraft crashed into the sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta on October 29, 2018. It is chilling... It had 189 people on board. Lion Air had only had one previous fatal accident, in 2004: an MD-82 crashed on landing in Solo City, Java, killing 25 of the 163 people on board, according to the Aviation Safety Network. of the Flight Safety Foundation.

Anyway, my flight from Ternate to Manado went perfectly well. I was a bit sad to leave Weda, but Bangka did not disappoint me... More in the next post!


  Indonesia: Weda [Halmahera] + Bangka [Sulawesi] - March 2013