Mitsubishi Aircraft to delay jet delivery to 2021 or later

The SpaceJet M90. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.Photo: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.

NAGOYA, Feb 9, 2020, Kyodo. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp is set to delay delivery of a new passenger jet to 2021 or later due to parts problems, Japan Today reported.

This will be the sixth time that the company has pushed back delivery of the SpaceJet M90 small passenger aircraft to launch customer All Nippon Airways Co.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. President and CEO Seiji Izumisawa said that delivery will be delayed from mid-2020 to sometime in the business year 2021 starting in April, or later.

Mitsubishi Aircraft has also announced executive personnel changes effective April 1, appointing Takaoki Niwa, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America Inc, as new president, as the company “prepares to enter the final phase of certification flight testing on the SpaceJet M90.”

Niwa, with long engineering and aviation business experience, will replace Hisakazu Mizutani, who will become chairman to oversee governance matters and relationships with All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines Co, it said.

Mizutani has led the company since April 2017 after it decided to postpone delivery of the small jet then called Mitsubishi Regional Jet for the fifth time.

Last March, Mitsubishi Aircraft began test flights to obtain safety certification from the Japanese transport ministry but encountered parts troubles.

The aircraft company initially planned to start delivering the jetliner — Japan’s first homegrown small passenger jet — in 2013, but delivery has been repeatedly postponed.

The delays have already raised the development cost for the passenger jet to an estimated 800 billion yen ($7.3 billion).

SpaceJet M90 will seat about 90 passengers. Another model under development, SpaceJet M100, allows a freer seating configuration to accommodate more higher-class seats.

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