Business / Corporate

Mitsubishi Heavy reviewing SpaceJet test flight plan

JIJI

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. is reviewing a test flight plan for the SpaceJet small passenger jet currently in development, the firm’s president said Wednesday.

The review, partly to see whether the first delivery of the aircraft should be moved back further, reflects delays in the production of test models needed to obtain a type certificate, according to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries President Seiji Izumisawa. A type certificate signifies the airworthiness of an aircraft.

So far, the planned first delivery of the SpaceJet has been delayed five times, from 2013 to the middle of 2020.

“We have not changed” the current schedule, Izumisawa said in an interview with media organizations.

The SpaceJet, previously known as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, is the first Japanese-made small passenger jet to be developed by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy.

Mitsubishi Heavy has been sued by South Koreans who worked for the company during World War II. Last year, South Korea’s top court ordered the company to pay compensation to the plaintiffs.

“Our basic understanding is that the issue has been solved between the Japanese and South Korean governments. We will act in step with the Japanese government,” Izumisawa said.

Tokyo maintains that the wartime labor issue was settled under a 1965 bilateral agreement on property and claims.