At an annual convention of the Regional Airline Association in Cleveland earlier this month, top Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. officials were eager to promote its Mitsubishi Regional Jet ahead of its maiden flight in Japan this fall.

Hiromichi Morimoto, who assumed the post of president at Mitsubishi Aircraft in April, said at the convention held from May 12 to 15 that the event "will offer the best chance to show the MRJ to the world."

"North America is an important market, home to three of the six airlines that have ordered the MRJ," Executive Vice President Masao Yamagami said.