See More on Facebook

Business

Mitsubishi Aircraft cleared for takeoff in N. America market

It will be the first indigenous mass produced aircraft from Japan in decades.


Written by

Updated: September 10, 2019

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. announced last week that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Mesa Airlines Inc. of the United States to supply 100 of its Mitsubishi SpaceJet regional aircraft — a major step for expanding its struggling business into North America, the world’s largest market.

Industry observers are keenly watching to see if sales of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet can prvide as momentum for Mitsubishi Aircraft to escape its current strife.

The SpaceJet, Japan’s first domestically produced passenger jet formerly known as Mitsubishi Regional Jet, has a capacity of about 70 seats, and meets growing demand in the United States for smaller aircraft. If the order is formally decided, it will be the first deal for the manufacturer in about three years. With a price tag of about ¥4 billion (about $37 million) per plane, the deal is expected to be worth as much as ¥400 billion (about $3.7 billion).

“This confirms that our aircraft fulfills current and future needs in this industry,” Mitsubishi Aircraft President Hisakazu Mizutani said in announcing the agreement.

Mitsubishi Aircraft is a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

According to the memorandum, 50 SpaceJet planes will be dealt with as a firm order, while the Mesa Airlines will hold the purchase option for the remaining 50, giving it the right to cancel the order. Mitsubishi Aircraft plans to start delivery of the 70-seat class plane in 2024.

In the United States, planes flying on regional routes are limited to 76 seats or less. The SpaceJet was developed in two models — 90-seat and 70-seat — but Mitsubishi Aircraft has shifted more emphasis on developing the smaller class to meet demand in the U.S. market.

Jonathan Ornstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Mesa Air Group Inc., which is based in Phoenix, and wholly owns Mesa Airlines, praised the 70-seat type, saying it “can deliver premium experience within the U.S. scope clause” thanks to its large cabin and low fuel costs.

The business opportunity between Mitsubishi Aircraft and Mesa Airlines gained a tailwind from MHI’s announcement in June that it would acquire Bombardier Inc.’s Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) program.

Mesa Airlines owns about 85 CRJ small aircraft, which will go out of production next year. By offering maintenance services for the CRJ, the Mitsubishi group has created a platform that makes it easier to introduce the SpaceJet as a successor.

In North America, there are about 2,000 regional jets with fewer than 100 seats in operation, half of which are CRJs. The Mitsubishi group will use the deal with Mesa as a springboard to boost its efforts to fill the demand for replacements.

The immediate focus of attention will be put on screening by aviation authorities in Japan and the United States to acquire type certificates for the SpaceJet, a requirement for before commercially flying. Not much time is left before deliveries start in mid-2020.

Another challenge is strengthening the mass production system. At the current pace, it takes several months to produce one aircraft. This means the company cannot accept large-scale orders unless it speeds up the process as soon as possible.

MHI will set up a section in October to promote mass production, with the aim of speeding up response time with automated lines and other measures.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Business

Carrie Lam assures investors Hong Kong can rebound from protests

Written by the Associated Press as appearing in the Straits Times. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has told investors at a Belt and Road forum that the semi-autonomous Chinese territory can rebound from months of protests, despite no sign that the unrest will cool down. Mrs Lam voiced confidence at Wednesday’s (Sept 11) forum that rifts can be mended through government plans for dialogue and upholding the so-called “one country, two systems” policy that gives Hong Kong some freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland. She said Hong Kong’s “indomitable resilience” will see the city through the conflict. Mrs Lam’s promise last week to axe an extradition Bill that sparked demonstrations failed t


By The Straits Times
September 12, 2019

Business

Nissan board pushes out Saikawa after disclosure of improper compensation

The embattled company is facing major structural changes on the back of two scandals. Nissan Motor Co. announced Monday that President and Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa will resign, effective Sept. 16. The company’s board requested his resignation in the wake of a revelation that he had improperly received compensation, and he accepted the request. The automaker aims to choose a successor by the end of October. Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer Yasuhiro Yamauchi will serve as acting CEO until then. “I have considered that my mission was to restore ties with Renault and improve earnings,” Saikawa said during a press conference Monday night at Nissan headquarters in Yokohama. “I have considered that if a successor system is established, I should start handing over my duties.” The successor will be chosen by the company’s nomination commi


By The Japan News
September 11, 2019

Business

B Grimm alots 38.5 billion Baht till 2022 in Asean

The company has earmarked the money for investment. B Grimm Power Plc has set aside more than Bt38.5 billion for investment in its power projects with the aim of achieving 5,000 megawatts by 2022, the company’s chief executive officer Preeyanart Soontornwata said after opening its largest solar farm electricity plant in Tay Ninh, Vietnam in last week. “We will focus on green energy such as solar, wind and hydropower in Thailand and others countries in Asia,” she said. The company is currently developing renewable energy in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, South Korea, and the Philippines through 17 co-generation plants, 24 solar PVs, three hydro-power plants, one industrial waste-to-energy project, and a diesel generation with a total capacity of 2,896 megawatts. The company is looking to expand investment in Malaysia, Cambodia, South Korea, and the Philippines by f


By The Nation (Thailand)
September 10, 2019

Business

China says Canada solely responsible for difficulties in relations

The heiress to the Huawei fortune has been arrested in Canada, while China has arrested several Canadians. China-Canada relations have met serious difficulties, and the Canadian side is solely responsible for this, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday. Geng Shuang made the comment at a press briefing when asked about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s remarks that the Canadian government would not “back down” in disputes with China. Urging the Canadian side to reflect upon its mistakes, Geng said Canada should treat China’s solemn position and concerns seriously and immediately release Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei. Geng also criticized Canada’s series of wrong comments on Hong Kong, saying that Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs and brook no interference from any country, organization or individual.


By China Daily
August 23, 2019

Business

Ho Chi Minh attracts nearly 4 billion USD in investment in 2019

Manufacturing and textiles among key sectors. HCM City attracted about US$3.63 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in the first seven months of this year, marking a year-on-year increase of 15.2 per cent, according to the municipal People’s Committee. Nearly $688.8 million came from 678 newly registered projects, up 26.9 per cent in value and 18.3 per cent in the number of projects from the same period last year. In the period, 2,668 foreign investors bought shares and acquired stakes of domestic enterprises with total registered capital of $2.6 billion, 28.3 per cent and 16.7 per cent higher respectively than in the same period last year. Meanwhile, HCM City granted business licences to 24,529 new domestic enterprises worth more than VND396 trillion ($17 billion), up 0.9 per cent and 25.7 per cent, respectively. Up to 71,874 existing enterprises were allowed to add a c


By Viet Nam News
August 20, 2019

Business

Goldman Sachs appoints lawyer to observe 1MDB trial

The bank has been implicated by recent findings. Goldman Sachs Group Inc has appointed a lawyer to observe the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The US bank is represented by local lawyer Chetan Jethwani, who will hold a watching brief in the hearing set to begin Aug 26, according to a Kuala Lumpur court. A watching brief lets lawyers, whose clients aren’t directly involved in the case, obtain witness statements and documents in the trial but doesn’t allow them to question witnesses or submit evidence. Malaysia escalated efforts to prosecute Goldman Sachs by announcing criminal charges against 17 of its current and former directors, after charging three of the bank’s units last year. Najib’s second trial revolves around 25 money laundering and corruption charges linked to joint ventures, asset sales and debt issuance by 1MDB.


By The Star
August 20, 2019