• Kyodo

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Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. is aiming to secure the first new order for its commercial jet in more than 18 months by year-end.

“We’ll probably be able to get new orders within the year,” Mitsubishi Aircraft President Teruaki Kawai said recently.

The manufacturer, established in 2008 as a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., has not received any fresh orders for its Mitsubishi Regional Jet, Japan’s first small commercial jet, since December 2012. Last year, the company postponed the plane’s delivery schedule for the third time to the April-June quarter of 2017.

The Nagoya-based firm has received orders for 325 MRJs so far, and is aiming to reach 1,000 over the next two decades.

The situation “will change once (the jet) starts flying,” Kawai said, referring to the first flight test, scheduled for 2015.