Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. President Shunichi Miyanaga said Friday its airplane subsidiary was facing its first cancellation for the delay-plagued Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

“We expect to lose a contract” from Eastern Air Lines because the U.S. carrier has been sold, he said in an interview.

The small MRJ, touted as the first commercial jet to be made in Japan, is being developed by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., an MHI subsidiary based in the town of Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture. Domestic and foreign airlines have placed orders for 427 of the jets, with the first delivery now planned for 2020.

Eastern Air Lines ordered 40 MRJs in September 2014 but its buyer, Swift Air, is hoping to procure larger planes, sources said, making the cancellation inevitable.

Miyanaga denied that the repeated postponements of MRJ deliveries are behind the problem.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.