Goodbye SpaceJet! Mitsubishi finally cancels its regional jet
The Japanese industrial conglomerate Mitsubishi had the serious intention of inserting itself as an important player among the regional jet manufacturers, it presented the first MRJs, it got clients and it was left with the table set to have a successful plane before the new Embraer E175-E2 that did not It complies with the rules for regional flights in the US However, and after doing a redesign mainly of the interior to offer a better space, they decided to withdraw from the competition and now they cancel the project completely.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is the parent company of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, and is responsible for the final decision on the project. It is understood that when they preferred to postpone development due to the pandemic, it was not the most appropriate time, but they had an excellent opportunity to enter the US market, and they completely wasted it. The company issued a statement stating that, after 16 years, the program is coming to an end, although it expects that:
"…the experiences and insights learned from the program will contribute to the Japanese airline industry, which aspires to return to being an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) at some point."
During the third quarter results presentation of its fiscal year, MHI explained that it no longer had any impact on its finances, since the program had been suspended since 2020, although they hoped to eventually relaunch it. But the reasons to discontinue it began to gain strength over time, such as the fact that it began to lose in terms of its technology, which would require new investments to update it; also because of decarbonization solutions as well as the lack of understanding and cooperation from international partners.
Also, from the point of view of the clients, they highlighted that the shortage of pilots in the US regional airlines affected the business viability of SpaceJet, in addition to the fact that the plane did not fully meet the needs of the regional market for that country, which would be the most important customer, so without additional investment in the program, it would not be economically viable.
In the years Mitsubishi produced only 8 "MRJ" aircraft, 7 of the MRJ90 series and one of the MRJ70 series that was fitted with the new SpaceJet cabin that gave it its new name. But it never made it to series production. The company hopes to use the learning with the aircraft to expand its partnerships with other OEMs around the world, as well as eventually leverage it for future new development, including the next generation of its F-X fighter.
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