JAKARTA, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- A senior official of Indonesian aviation firm PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) released Tuesday a plan of the company to begin mass production of mid-sized propeller plane N219 by 2017 as it started to receive orders for the plane.
"The project was envisaged in 2004 but due to financial crisis that hampered the firm, designing and material test was halted. But now, the production of the plane can be conducted as we have received orders from customers," company spokesperson Sonny Saleh said in a plant in Bandung, West Java.
The N219 plane is designed to serve remote areas with hilly terrain that made it fit for the eastern part of the country that has many areas with such a characteristic.
He said that a national airlines has signed a letter of intent to procure 20 N219 planes for its fleet that flies many destinations in eastern Indonesia.
"We would focus on the domestic market. Development of the plane would be conducted from 2013 to 2017. After the plane is certified we will commence mass production," Sonny said, quoted by the Antara news service.
He said that the company has allocated 16 million U.S. dollars to finance the development of the plane.
PTDI has secured 8.2 trillion rupiah (about 851 million U.S. dollars) of production contracts as of now, and the figure is expected to reach 9.5 trillion rupiah by the end of this year.
PTDI has international license to produce Bell, BO 105 and Super Puma helicopters and military transport planes.