The identity of the mystery Australian airline which Lion Air of Indonesia says it will soon take a 49 % stake could be known later today.

No it isn’t Qantas, nor Virgin Blue, nor apparently OzJet, which has been having talks about Indonesian routes recently. Nor is it Tiger. Could it be REX or Skywest, or AirNorth, or SkyAirWorld?

But whoever it is needs to be culturally aware. Lion Air’s greatest media coup to date has been to sponsor the mass circumcision of 1500 youths in Jakarta to celebrate its third anniversary in 2004. No, that’s not a typo.

The airline owned by the family of Indonesian business identity Rusdi Kirana has a better than average safety record for the republic having only killed 25 people in a crash landing in a cemetery variously attributed to a pilot loading too little fuel and being unable to fly in heavy rain.

Kirana said Lion will designate six of the 122 Boeing 737-900ER planes it has on order to operate under the Lion Australia brand, each with up to 215 seats.

He said under Australian regulations a foreign investor is allowed to have only up to 49% stake in a local airline, but it has been agreed that Lion would be the operator and control the management.

However, his statement did not mention the hurdle of gaining an air operator certificate for a large jet or passing other safety and management related criteria before being allowed to fly in Australia.