Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation has announced that the first delivery of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) will be delayed from mid-2018 to mid-2020. The delay is due to reconfigurations in the aircraft’s electrical and a few other systems.
The company had previously planned to deliver the first MRJ to launch customer ANA by mid 2018. The MRJ was initially meant to enter service in mid 2013 but the program has suffered many delays with the first flight occurring only in November 2015 almost four years behind the initial schedule.
The new delay is expected to make it more difficult for the MRJ to pick up new orders in a segment held by Bombardier and Embraer. The MRJ had around 240 firm orders before announcing the latest delay, how the delay will affect these orders is unknown.
The MRJ flight test program has flown four aircraft till date, with three having been transferred to the United States, where the majority of the flight test program will be conducted. A fourth aircraft is expected to be sent to the US shortly.
Parent company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), recently established the MRJ Business Promotion Committee, chaired by Shunichi Miyanaga, President & Chief Executive Officer of MHI, to oversee the continued development and long-term business performance of the MRJ.