Eastern Air Lines Cancels Order for Mitsubishi Regional Jet

Eastern Air Lines Cancels Order for Mitsubishi Regional Jet. Eastern Air Lines and Mitsubishi Aircraft have rescinded a purchase agreement for 20 MRJ regional jets, reducing about 10% of the manufacturer's firm order book.

Mitsubishi spokesman in an interview said that the sale agreement, which also includes options for an additional 20 of the type, was canceled "very recently", after the acquisition of the airline by private luxury operator Swift Air.

"They sold their business to Swift, they returned their AOC to the FAA of the US, so this is a change in their commercial consideration and we agreed that the best option for both parties was to complete the termination," says Yugo Fukuhara, vice president of Mitsubishi and general manager of sales and marketing.

mrj mitsubishi regional jet

Eastern Air Lines Cancels Order for Mitsubishi Regional Jet

He adds that although Eastern's loss is "regrettable", he expects it to not have a "significant impact" on the MRJ program. The agreement with Eastern was signed in 2014, and deliveries were scheduled for 2019. However, the delivery schedule has been delayed due to two rounds of program delays since then.

The manufacturer did not disclose the updated delivery schedule for Eastern, but says those slots can now be offered to existing and potential customers.

With the cancellation of Eastern, Mitsubishi now has firm orders for 213 aircraft from six customers, including All Nippon Airways, Trans States Holdings, SkyWest Inc., Air Mandalay, Japan Airlines and Aerolease Aviation.

The Swedish landlord Rockton signed a letter of intent for 10 MRJ90 in 2016, but has not yet been confirmed. When asked about the status of Rockton's letter of intent, Fukuhara notes that the agreement was signed shortly before a two-year delay was announced for the MRJ schedule in 2017.

He adds that the fuselage is in constant discussion with the lessor, who has requested to incorporate the latest specifications and the performance of the aircraft in the agreement. It also has Air Mandalay as a customer with firm orders for six aircraft. However, the Myanmar carrier suspended operations several times in recent years.

Fukuhara says the company is still a client with whom Mitsubishi is in close communication. The MRJ sales and marketing team now has two priorities: take care of existing customers "in a very difficult program situation" and continue conversations with potential customers. There are several sales campaigns in progress, although it is unlikely that they will be completed in the short term, says Fukuhara.

He also trusts the progress of the program and says that delivery to the All Nippon Airways launch client is on track for mid-2020.