"Lion Air becomes the first company to order 100 units of ATR," ATR CEO Patrick de Casterlbajac stated while signing the contract with Lion Air Group CEO Rusdi Kirana in the presence of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the office of the Italian governments cabinet.
In 2008, Lion Air had ordered 60 units of ATR-72 with the final delivery to be carried out by the end of 2015. This latest contract will take the total number of ATR planes it has ordered to 100, including those that are already in operation.
The US$1-billion contract for the purchase of the 40 units of ATR 72-600 has been considered as the largest order the producer of Italian-French plane has ever received in 20 years.
Addressing Rusdi Kirana, prime minister Matteo Renzi, and Italian, Indonesian, and international media such as Reuters, de Castelbajac called the purchase order a milestone for ATR as well as Italy.
"We feel honored to be able to cooperate with Lion Air," he added.
Rusdi Kirana remarked that the deal was an important step for both sides.
He pointed out that over the past five years, his company has become the largest buyer of wide-bodied Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
According to him, Indonesia and Italy shared several similarities that would make business relations between the two countries closer, including in aviation industrial development.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hailed the deal saying "the deal is very important for us."
He stressed that Italy was ready to be present in Indonesia for their next business cooperation.
"The next deal will not be signed in Italy or France, but in your country, Indonesia," he announced.
ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale) is a turboprop plane jointly manufactured by the consortium of French Aerospatiale and Italian Finmeccanina-Alenia Aermachi to serve short-haul flights.
Their main products are ATR 42 that has a capacity of 40-50 seats and ATR 72 with a capacity of 74 seats and are operated by two pilots.