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Mitsubishi jet delivery faces further delays

Kyodo

The delivery of Japan’s first small passenger jet being developed by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. will be delayed again, sources said Thursday.

In April last year, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. subsidiary postponed the delivery of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet for more than a year to the middle of fiscal 2015 or later due partly to time-consuming reviews of the production process.

The company now expects the delivery of the aircraft to start no sooner than fiscal 2016, according to the sources.

The start of test flights for the jet, which was initially planned to be conducted by the year’s end, has also been put off until the end of 2014.

The delay is believed to have been caused by difficulties for Mitsubishi Aircraft to acquire as planned major parts for the jet from U.S. and European manufacturers. Under such circumstances, the company cannot collect data necessary to prove the jet meets state safety requirements, the sources said.

The aircraft-maker has currently received orders for 325 MRJ units from airlines, including All Nippon Airways Co. and Skywest Inc. of the United States.