Canada's Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) and Indonesia's Lion Air confirmed on Thursday the two companies are in talks over a possible deal for the planemaker's new CSeries jets.
Lion Air's chief executive and co-founder, Rusdi Kirana, said the airline was interested in buying the larger version of the narrow-body CS100 jet, which staged its maiden flight last week. Bombardier is aiming to break into a market dominated by Airbus EAD.PA and Boeing Co (BA.N).
"I am interested in buying the CS300. We will know how many after we learn about it more deeply," Kirana said by email.
The CS300, which can seat up to 160 passengers, typically fits 130 in a dual-class set-up and 135 in a standard configuration. The smaller CS100 typically seats 110.
Lion Air is Indonesia's largest privately run airline and one of the world's fastest-growing low-cost airlines. Kirana, who visited the CSeries plant near Montreal on Wednesday, said the CS300 would suit the airline's operations.
The Indonesian carrier has already placed record orders for Boeing and Airbus jets to serve the archipelago nation's rapid air traffic growth.
"Definitely we are in discussions with them, so hopefully we'll be able to finalize a deal in a few months," said Marc Duchesne, director of public affairs and communications for Bombardier's commercial aircraft division.
Airlines and country delegations from all over the world are in Montreal this week for the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization's triennial assembly.
Duchesne said close to 20 different airlines and country representatives are visiting Bombardier's CSeries plant in Mirabel, Quebec, some 50 km (30 miles) north of Montreal. He declined to name the other visitors.
(Editing by Gary Hill and Leslie Adler)