Indonesia's Kartika to lease more 737s prior to Superjet arrival

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Indonesian carrier Kartika Airlines is in the market to lease more Boeing 737-300/400s because the Sukhoi Superjets it has just agreed to order will only start coming in 2011.

A senior official at Kartika, who wishes to remain anonymous, confirms that the airline has signed a tentative agreement to order 15 Superjet 100s with options for 15 more.

The official says Kartika ordered the Superjet because it made "the best offer and financial package" plus Sukhoi was able to provide a good product support package.

He describes the choice of Sukhoi as quite sudden. Prior to the decision, the airline had been considering Airbus A319s and regional jets from Bombardier and Embraer.

Deliveries of the Superjets to Kartika will only start in 2011 so in the meantime the carrier plans to add more 737-300/400s on lease, he says.

The airline currently operates two Boeing 737-200s and has just added one 737-400 on lease, says the official, who was unable to say which leasing company the 737-400 is coming from but says it is an ex-Adam Air aircraft. Adam Air is an Indonesian carrier that shut-down suddenly in March.