• Kyodo

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A state-owned bank is considering providing substantial financial support to promote the nation’s first small passenger jet project, a source close to the matter said Sunday.

The Development Bank of Japan may extend up to ¥100 billion ($828.8 million) to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and other manufacturers involved in development and production of the small regional jet called the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

The support is part of the DBJ’s ¥500 billion investment plan over the next five years to strengthen Japan’s industrial competitiveness and will be officially decided by the end of March.

The companies engaged in the project will use the aid to set up facilities needed for parts production as well as maintenance and repair.

The 35-meter-long plane will have 70 to 90 seats and be about 20 percent more fuel efficient than similar-sized jets. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy, has received orders for 407 jets from domestic and foreign carriers.

Launch customer ANA Holdings Inc., which runs All Nippon Airways Co., is scheduled to take delivery of the first MRJs sometime between April and June in 2017.

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