Indonesia's Kartika tentatively agrees to order up to 30 Superjets

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Indonesian carrier Kartika Airlines has tentatively agreed to become the Asian launch customer for the Sukhoi Superjet 100, with a potential order for up to 30 of the type.

Sukhoi's civil aircraft division says the Jakarta-based carrier has signed a heads of agreement for 15 firm Superjets plus 15 options.

Deliveries of the PowerJet SaM146-powered regional aircraft will begin in 2011.

Kartika currently operates a small fleet of Boeing 737-200 aircraft on domestic and regional routes. Sukhoi says the agreement with the carrier is worth $448 million at list prices.

sukhoi superjet 100

 © Sukhoi

"With Kartika Airlines being our launch customer in southeast Asia we are opening a new market for the Superjet 100," says Sukhoi Civil Aircraft president Viktor Subbotin.

Kartika's agreement is for the Superjet 100-95B, says the airframer, which will typically accommodate 98 passengers in single-class configuration, or 86 in dual-class.

Candidates for Kartika's fleet-replacement have included the Bombardier CRJ900, Boeing 737 and Airbus A319.