Lion Air booking question (due to MAX-8 situation)

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Old Mar 11, 19, 7:14 pm
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Lion Air booking question (due to MAX-8 situation)

Because Lion Air has convenient non-stops to and from Manado, I am thinking of booking a couple of segments at the end of the month. I believe at least one of those were -- until yesterday's mandatory grounding of the MAX-8 fleet -- being regularly operated by a MAX-8. I noticed on Flightradar that today's flight was operated by a 739 so it appears they did swap that out.

Simply out of an abundance of caution, should I wait for a few days before booking anything to see if they institute any schedule changes or cancellations once they factor in the impact of the groundings or are they expected to maintain their schedules generally intact? On the last day we need to be in Denpasar for an 8 PM international departure on another airline (separate tix) so we were going to take the early morning flight out of Manado to DPS.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 2:20 am
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Originally Posted by gq_dq View Post
Because Lion Air has convenient non-stops to and from Manado, I am thinking of booking a couple of segments at the end of the month. I believe at least one of those were -- until yesterday's mandatory grounding of the MAX-8 fleet -- being regularly operated by a MAX-8. I noticed on Flightradar that today's flight was operated by a 739 so it appears they did swap that out.

Simply out of an abundance of caution, should I wait for a few days before booking anything to see if they institute any schedule changes or cancellations once they factor in the impact of the groundings or are they expected to maintain their schedules generally intact? On the last day we need to be in Denpasar for an 8 PM international departure on another airline (separate tix) so we were going to take the early morning flight out of Manado to DPS.
It also depends where you are going. Where is this flight going to? I don't know Lion Air's schedule but if you are going to Singapore they will not be able to fly 737 Maxes there for now as Singapore just banned their arrival/departure from the country

Boeing 737: Singapore bars entry and exit of 737 Max planes
Singapore's Civil Aviation Authority has temporarily suspended the Boeing 737 Max fleet of aircraft from flying into and out of the country.
The decision comes after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Max 8 crashed on Sunday, killing 157 people on board.
It was the second fatal accident involving that model in less than five months.
Singapore's Changi Airport is the world's sixth busiest and a major hub connecting Asia to Europe and the US.
But only a handful of airlines operate Max aircraft in and out of the country.
Several airlines and regulators around the world have already grounded the Max 8 model following the crash.
Singapore is believed to be the first country to ban all variants of the Max fleet of aircraft. The suspension went into effect from 14:00 local time (06:00 GMT).
Is disruption likely?
Singapore's aviation authority said the affected airlines include SilkAir, which operates six Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, as well as China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air.
It said it is working with airlines and Changi Airport to minimise the impact on passengers. Experts told the BBC that disruption was likely, however.
Aviation consultant Ian Thomas said: "This is sure to lead to significant flight cancellations and disruption to schedules as the airlines involved switch to other aircraft types (assuming they are available)."
The BBC's Karishma Vaswani, who is at Changi Airport, reports orderly scenes. Some flights have been cancelled but it is not known if the suspension is to blame.
In the US, the country's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told airlines on Monday it believes Boeing's 737 Max 8 model to be airworthy, despite the two fatal crashes.
What is a Boeing 737 Max aircraft?
The Boeing 737 Max fleet of aircraft are the latest in the company's successful 737 line. The group includes the Max 7, 8, 9 and 10 models.
By the end of January, Boeing had delivered 350 of the Max 8 model out of 5,011 orders. A small number of Max 9s are also operating.
The Max 7 and 10 models, not yet delivered, are due for roll-out in the next few years.
The Max 8 that crashed on Sunday was one of 30 ordered as part of Ethiopian Airlines' expansion. It underwent a "rigorous first check maintenance" on 4 February, the airline said.
Following last October's Lion Air crash in Indonesia, investigators said the pilots had appeared to struggle with an automated system designed to keep the plane from stalling, a new feature of the jet.
It is not yet clear whether the anti-stall system was the cause of Sunday's crash. Aviation experts say other technical issues or human error cannot be discounted.
What have US authorities said?
US aviation officials have said the 737 Max 8 is airworthy and that it is too early to reach any conclusions or take any action.
US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Monday said the FAA would "take immediate and appropriate action" if a defect was found in the Max 8.
Boeing has confirmed that for the past few months it has been developing a "flight control software enhancement" for the aircraft.
Paul Hudson, the president of FlyersRights.org and a member of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, nonetheless called for the plane to be grounded.
"The FAA's 'wait and see' attitude risks lives as well as the safety reputation of the US aviation industry," Mr Hudson said in a statement on Monday.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 6:31 am
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Thanks for the detail. It is relevant for our trip since we are indeed transiting SIN. We're using only SQ to get to/from SIN. Not Silk Air or any other carrier.

But on Lion Air we're just doing domestics between Manado and Sorong and DPS.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 7:00 am
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It's a very fluid situation with many countries / airlines banning the max hour by hour (Malaysia being an hour ago).

I was going to say definitely hold out for a couple of hours, but now I see that only 10/125 Lion Air planes are 800 - MAX so i'm sure that route will be fine. Especially the morning direct Garuda MDC-DPS flight no longer operates which was always packed when I used it, leaving just Lion Air on the route by the looks of things.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 7:01 am
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I don't know how many MAX aircraft Lion Air has in its fleet, but I would expect some schedule changes and further disruptions. IMO it would be better to get to DPS the day before your international (Longhaul? Cabin class? Fare conditions?) flight on a separate ticket.
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Old Mar 14, 19, 4:01 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I don't know how many MAX aircraft Lion Air has in its fleet, but I would expect some schedule changes and further disruptions. IMO it would be better to get to DPS the day before your international (Longhaul? Cabin class? Fare conditions?) flight on a separate ticket.
I'd agree - even without the Max situation, I wouldn't do a same day connection from LCC to long-haul flight in Asia. I wouldn't want to risk my expensive long-haul ticket because the LCC cancelled/ delayed the flight, bumped me ...
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Old Mar 15, 19, 11:35 am
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It's also usually more comfortable to arrive the day before and relax at a hotel, do something fun, etc. versus spending many hours waiting in the airport.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 11:14 am
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Lion Air only have 10 ish MAX8. so grounding them should pose no issue.

But for the sake of your own sanity, better use non Lion Air if possible.
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