Farnborough: MRJ Hit By a Truck - Demo Flight Cancelled
After delays, Japan's regional jet faces dogfight with industry giants
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July 17, 2018 - Farnborough
- Airbus, Boeing regional jet push challenges MRJ
- Order book at risk due to U.S. pilot union rules
- Missed window of opportunity for sales due to delays
By Victoria Bryan and Jamie Freed
FARNBOROUGH, England/SINGAPORE, July 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp, trying to keep its new regional jet on track after series of delays, was forced to cancel a demo flight for the world's aerospace industry on Tuesday after the jet was hit by a truck.
The prang, which follows the jet's debut at the show on Monday, will not interrupt marketing efforts. But it will do nothing to help the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) pull in orders at a time when giants Airbus SE and Boeing Co are extending their grip to the smaller end of the market.
The 90-seat MRJ, Japan's great hope for reviving a dormant commercial aviation industry, was launched a decade ago. Five delays later, it is now expected to enter service with Japanese carrier ANA Holdings Inc in 2020, compared with the initial target of 2013.
As a result, it missed a potentially lucrative window of opportunity to be the first to market with the latest generation of fuel-efficient regional jets.
It is now up against the already in-service Airbus A220 - the newly rebranded former Bombardier Inc CSeries - and the Embraer E2 series, which may be controlled by Boeing if a provisional deal between the manufacturers is completed.
"These developments are disastrous for the MRJ," said Richard Aboulafia, vice president, analysis at Teal Group. "They are no longer competing with small companies from Canada and Brazil; they are now competing with global aerospace behemoths, with enormous pricing power and industrial scale."
Mitsubishi Aircraft is ...