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.
"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.