Mitsubishi's MRJ to Be Renamed "Space Jet"

Economy

Tokyo, May 29 (Jiji Press)--Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. will change the name of its Mitsubishi Regional Jet to "Space Jet," it was learned Wednesday.

By renaming the first Japanese-developed small passenger jet, the unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. <7011> hopes to shed the poor image of the MRJ created by the prolonged development causing repeated delays in the first delivery of the aircraft, informed sources said.

The sources also said Mitsubishi Aircraft will launch the full-fledged development of a 70-seat-class version of the 90-seat-class MRJ, to enhance the company's business by meeting strong demand for 70-seat-class models in North America, the biggest small passenger jet market in the world.

Mitsubishi Aircraft initially planned to deliver the first MRJ in 2013 but has so far put off the delivery five times.

The company says the MRJ development is in a final phase and that deliveries could start in the middle of 2020. But due to the uncertainty over when the MRJ development is actually finished, it has been struggling to get new orders.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press