Business / Corporate

U.S. airline cancels Mitsubishi's contract to supply up to 100 jets

Kyodo

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. announced Thursday that its contract to provide up to 100 units of Japan’s first homegrown small passenger jet to Trans States Holdings Inc., a United States operator of three regional carriers, had been canceled.

The manufacturer said its SpaceJet M90, which can seat about 90 passengers, “does not meet the requirements” of the American market, failing to comply with the U.S. scope clause that limits the size of aircraft flown on regional routes, among other conditions.

Mitsubishi Aircraft said future discussions with Trans States Holdings, or TSH, will focus on its SpaceJet M100 aircraft, which was newly introduced in June and does meet the U.S. scope clause requirements.

The design of the SpaceJet M100 can be modified to accommodate between 65 and 88 passengers.

Scheduled delivery dates for the SpaceJet M90 had been pushed back five times to the middle of next year due to development delays.

Under a 2009 deal between the two companies, Missouri-based TSH placed orders for 50 passenger jets — then called the Mitsubishi Regional Jet — and tentative orders for another 50.

“When we established our contract with TSH, the outlook for the regional market was very different. The scope clause has not been relaxed as anticipated,” Mitsubishi Aircraft President Hisakazu Mizutani said in a news release.

Mizutani said the company, which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., has shifted to the SpaceJet M100 to be responsive to the market realities in the United States.

The three U.S. regional carriers under the TSH wing are Trans States Airlines, Compass Airlines and GoJet Airlines.

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