* Says will meet 63-month timetable
* “Many” airlines interested in narrow-body plane (Adds additional CEO comments, background)
VANCOUVER, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) is on schedule with the development of its C-Series narrow-body jet and expects to have new orders soon, Chief Executive Pierre Beaudoin said on Tuesday.
“We are on schedule... We know we can do it in 63 months,” Beaudoin told Canada’s BNN television.
Bombardier, the world’s third-largest commercial aircraft maker after Airbus EAD.PA and Boeing (BA.N), is set to enter the narrow-body jetliner market in 2013 with its all-new 110- to 145-seat C-Series.
Beaudoin’s comments came after its competitors have racked up orders that some analysts had expected Bombardier might win with the C-Series.
Airbus last week unveiled what it called the biggest jet order in commercial aviation history with a $15.6 billion deal to sell 180 planes to Indian budget carrier IndiGo. This was followed on Monday by a $5 billion order from Virgin America for 60 Airbus A320 passenger jets, 150-seat, medium-distance planes.
Montreal-based Bombardier has said it has 90 firm orders for its single-aisle C-Series planes and options for 90 more.
“There are many conversations going on, many airlines are interested... Shortly, we should have new orders,” Beaudoin said.
He said Bombardier’s challenge is to demonstrate to potential customers that it, unlike its competitors, can stick to its delivery timetable. With 90 orders already, the first few years of production are booked, meaning customers must wait several years for deliveries.
“It’s not that airlines don’t believe in the (C-Series), they just say three to four years is a long time to wait,” Beaudoin said.
Bombardier’s stock was up 8 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, at C$5.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.
$1=$0.99 Canadian Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Peter Galloway