Lion Air Invocation Card. Indonésie, mars 2013.

Do your prayers on Lion Air (bis)

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

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:

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

Invocation Card

It may surprise. The low-cost Indonesian company Lion Air no matter how modernized and equipped with brand new planes, it continues to offer passengers, in the seat pocket, a booklet that seems to me out of another age. Entitled Doa-Doa Perjalanan / Invocation Card, it contains prayers, for all religions.

Comforting for some, surely… But praying that the sky will be favorable for us, that the aircraft will work well and that the crew will take the plane and all its passengers safely, I doubt very much that it will have any impact on the flight. Anyway, it can't hurt ...

Lion Air Invocation Card. Indonésie, mars 2013.
Lion Air Invocation Card. Indonésie, mars 2013.
Lion Air Invocation Card. Indonésie, mars 2013.

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

→ Effective prayers 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 are, as long as no one is imposed on me.

Lion Air, the company that goes up

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

Lion Air. Aéroport de Jakarta. Java, Indonésie. Mars 2013.
Air Lion aircraft at Jakarta airport. Java, Indonesia, March 2013.

Lion Air begins to seriously compete with Air Asia in Indonesia, both in terms of price, proposed links (In June 2013, they posted 36 destinations and 226 daily flights on their site).

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

Lion Air Routes. Mars 2013.

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

But ... the blacklist?

I was often asked the question ... At the time I published this article (2013), all Indonesian companies were blacklisted, with the exception of Garuda (the national airline) and Air Asia Indonesia. (the Malaysian lowcost that spreads throughout Asia). But in a few years, things have happily moved in the right direction. I made two updates recently:

UPDATE 2018: On June 14, 2018, ALL Indonesian companies were removed from the EU 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 → Aviation safety: press release.

UPDATE 2017: Lion Air is no longer blacklisted by companies banned by the European Union (the complete list is available in PDF to download on the website of the European Commission). The first publication of this post dates from 2013 and since then, security has improved, in the Indonesian sky! Among the commercial passenger transport companies that comply with EU safety standards, therefore, are now:
→ Garuda Indonesia and its low-cost subsidiary Citilink
→ Air Asia Indonesia

→ Lion Air and its subsidiary Batik Air

When I travel to Indonesia, I try as much as possible to fly on the most reputable companies. But to reach certain corners of the archipelago, we do not always have the choice, Garuda does not fly everywhere. So yes, I have been in the past flying with companies that were blacklisted.

I add to the passage this link of Slate, very interesting, signed in 2013 by the journalist "Breton-Indonesian" Gurvan Kristanadjaja, which offers a good summary of the development of Lion Air and the aviation market in Indonesia:
→ Indonesia, the country of low-cost aviation

Batavia, which was one of the few not to be blacklisted, went bankrupt early 2013: I had to take one of their flights, precisely, for this journey of March 2013 ... Too bad for me, I had already bought my ticket. With the "Bangkrut" Overall, I just had to sit on it and buy another plane ticket. Only Lion Air operated the connection to the day and time that suited me, so I opted, again, for a flight with prayer book included.

Too bad for Lion Air that there was this failed landing in Bali, in April 2013. I confess, I trembled retrospectively, on my return from Indonesia ... But to believe the testimony of a French passenger, row 26 brings luck

UPDATE OCTOBER 2018: a Lion Air aircraft crashed at sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta on October 29, 2018. It's cold in the back ... He had 189 people on board. Lion Air had previously had only one fatal accident in 2004: an MD-82 crashed on landing in Solo City, Java, killing 25 people out of 163 people on board , according to the network of aviation safety of the Flight Safety Foundation.

In any case, my flight Ternate-Manado went perfectly well. I was a bit sad to leave Weda, but Bangka did not disappoint me ... The sequel in the next post!


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