03/17/2015 10:09 EDT | Updated 05/17/2015 05:12 EDT

New Malaysian airline flymojo to buy up to 20 Bombardier CSeries jets

A new Malaysian airline called flymojo has agreed to buy 20 CSeries jets from Bombardier, with the possibility of buying 20 more later.

Bombardier said in a release Tuesday that a company called Fly Mojo Sdn Bhd, set up by the Government of Malaysia to own the new airline, would pay $1.47 billion US for the 20 smaller CSeries 100 jets, a figure that could increase to $2.94 billion US, should flymojo exercise all its options to buy 20 more planes.

It's Bombardier's first firm customer for CSeries jets in the region. The company says it now has firm orders for 243 jets, with expressions of interest in as many as 603 between the two versions of its forthcoming CSeries jets.

No firm timeline for delivery of flymojo's jets was given, but at last check Bombardier said it was expecting the first version of its much-anticipated CSeries jets to be available to customers some time later this year.

Bombardier conducted a five-hour test flight of the CS300 last month from the same Montreal-area airport where CS100 had its first flight in September 2013.​

Tuesday's announcement was also the unveiling of flymojo's very existence. The regional airline will be backed by the Malaysian government, which is still trying to turn around the operation and reputation of another of its carriers, Malaysia Airlines, after two high-profile air disasters last year.