Publicly listed PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk announced on Wednesday it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus Industrie for the purchase of 50 A320 Family planes.

Garuda Indonesia President Director Emirsyah Satar signed the MoU with Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy at the Paris Airshow 2011 on Tuesday, Garuda Indonesia spokesman Pujobroto said in a press statement on Wednesday.

Under the MoU, Garuda would buy 50 A320 planes consisting of 25 planes to be bought under a confirmed order and 25 planes under an option, he said.

The 25 planes will consist of 15 standard A320s and 10 A320neos. They will join Garuda Citilink fleet in stages from 2014 to 2018, or 5 planes in each of the years.

He said the purchase of the Airbus planes was designed to develop the potential market of Garuda Citilink which grew rapidly every year amidst rising demand for low-cost airline services at domestic and regional levels.

Garuda Indonesia President Director Emirsyah Satar said the purchase of A320s was part of the airline company`s program to develop Garuda Citilink by increasing its capacity and competitiveness.

He said A320s were very suitable for low cost flights because of their reliability and convenience.

Pujobroto said Garuda Citilink would gradually rejuvenate its planes starting this year. By the end of 2011, Garuda Citilink was expected to operate four A320s with a capacity of carrying 180 passengers each.

Currently, Garuda Citilink is operating six B-737-300s and 400s to link eight cities in Indonesia, namely Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Batam, Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, Makassar and Medan.