Citilink, the low-cost subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, will be ordering an initial 25 ATR 72-600s with an option on an additional 25 aircraft as part of a deal with the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer that will supply aircraft, foreign pilots and maintenance technicians.
The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop airplane suitable for short-haul regional airliner with seating for 78 passengers.
Arif Wibowo, CEO of Citilink, told Aviationweek.com that the initial order of 25 ATR 72-600s would begin arriving in Indonesian in September 2013.
In 2013 a total of 5 aircraft will be delivered, with the remaining 20 aircraft coming on line through 2015.
Citilink has an option on additional 25 aircraft to be delivered between 2015 and 2017.
The decision by Citilink ends speculation that the Indonesian carrier might opt to purchase Bombardier Q400 to meet its need for short-haul aircraft.
As part of the deal Citilink will obtain foreign pilots provided by ATR for an initial 2-3 years of operation to provide time for the recruitment and training of local pilots.
The ATR 72-600s will operate from five hubs in Indonesia - Balikpapan, Batam, Jakarta, Lombok and Surabaya – serving 45 routes.
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