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It’s a good thing Lion Air just bought a bunch of new planes

Earlier today, a Boeing 737-800 belonging to Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air hit the water as it was coming in to land and broke into two. Luckily, injuries were relatively light.

What caused the crash is not yet known. The aircraft was only a month old. Judging by Boeing’s order book, it was part of a contract Boeing signed with Lion Air in 2006 for 27 such planes, of which the first was delivered in April last year.

Since then, though, Lion Air’s expansion has gone into overdrive. It signed a deal with Boeing last year for 230 new planes with purchase rights to another 150—Boeing’s biggest-ever single contract. And last month the Indonesian airline broke the same record for Airbus, Boeing’s rival, agreeing to buy 234 planes. But some think the Asian air market doesn’t justify such a boom, especially given the fierce competition between Lion Air and its Malaysian budget rival, Air Asia.

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