Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation’s parent company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has confirmed reports that deliveries of the first MRJ90s will be delayed by another two years. Deliveries were already delayed once.
According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, ANA – All Nippon Airways, the type’s launch customer is now scheduled to take delivery of its first jets in mid 2020. Last year Mitsubishi has said the first delivery was scheduled to happen in mid-2018.
Sources close to the project told NHK that technical shortcomings with the positioning of the MRJ’s electronics have forced a review of the design. This means the type certification for the aircraft will be delayed until about autumn 2019.
Asked for comment, Shinya Katanosha, the president of ANA Holdings, said the delay will forced the company to keep ANA Wings’ fleet of 737-500s in service longer than expected. Likewise, Katanosha’s counterpart at JAL – Japan Airlines, Yoshiharu Ueki, has said J-Air will keep its fleet of EMB-170s in service for longer as well. However, in JAL’s case, the airline expects to take delivery of its first MRJ in 2021.
“I know that developing a domestic passenger aircraft for the first time is not an easy job and I ordered it after understanding the risk,” Ueki said. “I have a sense of confidence in Japan’s manufacturing, I believe that they will deliver the goods.”