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Indonesian airline orders 12 new Russian planes to boost competition

08-18-2011 14:24 BJT

JAKARTA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- An Indonesian airline, Sky Aviation, has announced it ordered 12 new Russian-made commercial planes in a bid to take the fleet to the county's major airlines, local media reported on Thursday.

The airline said on Wednesday that it would buy the Sukhoi Superjet 100 craft from manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company in a 380 million U.S. dollars deal.

The 100-seat aircraft, categorized as a regional explorer, has a cruising altitude of 40,000 feet and maximum speed of just below the speed of sound, making it a potential rival to the U.S. and France-made, the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

Sky Aviation director Krisman Tarigan said he hoped the airplanes would arrive as early as August next year.

With the new SSJ 100, Sky Aviation said it would open domestic routes in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua that have historically been underserved by commercial airlines with mid-sized jets.

"We are ready to use the SSJ 100 on domestic and international routes,"Krisman was quoted by the Jakarta Globe as saying. To finance the purchase, Krisman said Sky Aviation would use a Russian bank's export-import loan scheme guaranteed by the Russian government.

"At the moment, we are still in discussion with the bank helped by SCAC. It will be loaned with a special interest rate, not a commercial one," he said.

Sky Aviation, a unit of Group Petroneks Energy, is a relatively new player in the aviation industry, securing its flying permit in May 2009 from the Ministry of Transportation.

The company currently owns two nine-seat Grand Caravan airplanes, three 50-passenger Fokker 50 and two Cirrus SR 20 and SR 22, which can each carry three passengers. In addition, it also operates 10 Sky Lander airplanes, which can each accommodate 19 passengers.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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