Japan’s much-delayed MRJ90 regional jet programme has suffered its first order cancellation.
Japan’s troubled MRJ90 regional jet programme has suffered its first order cancellation with the decision by Swift Air, the new owner of charter operator Eastern Airlines, not to include the MRJ in its future fleet plans. Eastern Airlines, which held an order for 20 firm, 20 option MRJs since 2014, was acquired by Swift Air last year.
The MRJ programme is already years behind schedule. Early last year, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC) announced that the first delivery of the MRJ was being pushed back from mid-2018 to mid-2020 due to “revisions of certain systems and electrical configurations on the aircraft to meet the latest requirements for certification”.
That announcement marked the fifth delay in the programme, which is seeking to develop the first Japanese commercial airliner since the 1960s. First deliveries were initially scheduled for 2014.
The cancellation reduces the MRJ's firm order backlog to 223, almost half of which are for Sky West Airlines, with a further 50 for another U.S. carrier, Trans States Airlines. Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airlines have firm orders for 32 and 15 aircraft, respectively.