Wibowo says there were three key considerations when deciding on an aircraft type: economic, such as the purchase price; financing, and aircraft performance. Fuel-burn and runway performance were important elements of aircraft performance, he adds. Wibowo also says ATR has agreed to help Citilink to obtain European export credit agency-backed financing.
Early in the competition, some industry executives said Citilink was likely to choose the Bombardier Q400, so as to differentiate itself from Lion Air's Wings Air. An ATR spokesman says Wings operates 20 72-500s, the last of which was delivered on Dec. 14. This is the last -500 series aircraft produced by ATR. He also says Wings received its first 72-600 on Dec. 18. Wings ordered 40 72-600s.
Wings' order coupled with Citilink's, positions Indonesia as an enormous customer for ATR. When politicians realize that, they may lobby for investment from ATR. The government has already launched a public campaign to lobby Boeing to invest in Indonesia, as Lion and Garuda are big Boeing customers. One option could be for ATR and Boeing to give work to state-owned aircraft-maker Indonesian Aerospace (IAe). IAe helped develop the CN235 turboprop, and will be manufacturing NC212 and C295 turboprops with help from EADS's Airbus Military.
When Bagnato was asked if ATR may give work to Indonesia in the future, he side-stepped the issue by saying it is ATR's shareholders, Alenia Aeronautica and EADS, that are responsible for manufacturing the major sub-assemblies, so these two are the ones to decide such matters.
Alenia has China's Xian Aircraft manufacturing ATR parts. But China is a market in the region where ATR has secured no aircraft sales. China's government wants airlines there to buy Xian Aircraft MA60s.
Bagnato says it is hard for ATR to penetrate China, because the government has imposed taxes on imported regional aircraft. He says if China wants to sell MA60 overseas, then it should reciprocate by opening the Chinese market to foreign-made turboprop aircraft.