NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc's (BBDb.TO) chief executive on Thursday said orders for the Canadian aircraft maker's C-Series regional jet have been "as good as we want and need" and that skeptics were wrong in disparaging the launch.
In prepared remarks for an aviation industry event in New York, CEO Pierre Beaudoin called out "naysayers" of the C-series program in which the company has invested $3 billion to build its biggest aircraft yet.
As an audience of airlines executives sat around tables decorated with scale models of C-series planes, Beaudoin addressed concerns that Bombardier may have to push back the date it would start delivery.
"As of today, we continue to drive for first delivery at the end of 2013," he said.
The C-series competes directly with smaller regional planes built by industry giants Airbus EAD.PA and Boeing Co (BA.N).
"The commercial aircraft duopoly is definitely feeling threatened," Beaudoin said.
Beaudoin said the company's progress in booking C-Series orders should be compared with those for similarly sized Boeing and Airbus models.
"When you compare apples to apples, we have outsold competitors in the below 150-seat category and our order trajectory is as good as we want and need it to be," he said.
Reporting By Liana Baker in New York; Writing by Allison Martell and Susan Taylor in Toronto