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Mitsubishi Aircraft receives first MRJ cancellation

JIJI

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. has received its first order cancellation for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, informed sources said Friday.

The 40-plane order for Japan’s first home-grown passenger jet had been placed by Eastern Air Lines of the United States in September 2014.

A separate U.S. airline that later took over Eastern Air, however, uses a fleet of larger aircraft and thus decided to cancel the MRJ order, the sources said.

An official of Mitsubishi Aircraft denied that a delay in development led to the cancellation.

Including the canceled order, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. subsidiary, based in the town of Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture, had received orders for 447 MRJs from domestic and foreign airlines. Of them, 20 are under provisional contracts.

The MRJ’s development has been repeatedly delayed, and the first deliveries, initially planned for late 2013, are now slated for mid-2020 instead.

In an interview last month, Mitsubishi Heavy President Shunichi Miyanaga said the plane-making subsidiary was likely to get its first MRJ cancellation.

The plane is undergoing testing in the United States. A further delay in development or delivery might lead to further cancellations, pundits say.