Paris Air Show

Paris 2011: Mitsubishi Taps Boeing for MRJ Support

 - June 23, 2011, 3:15 AM

Boeing will help provide customer support for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet under the terms of a 10-year contract announced yesterday. Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh joined Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hideo Egawa to launch the partnership, under which Boeing Commercial Aviation Services will help with spare parts provisioning, service operations and field services for the MRJ.

“One of our oldest and most trusted partners has been MHI [Mitsubishi Heavy Industries] over the years,” said Albaugh. “Its products go on every airplane that we deliver.

“We believe the MRJ is going to be a terrific regional jet,” he said. “You can see by the order book that it’s being accepted in the marketplace and we know they’re going to sell many, many more.”

Albaugh also made note of an earlier agreement under which Boeing will assist Mitsubishi in the flight-test program and consult on development, marketing and post sales activities of the MRJ. However, yesterday’s support agreement does not directly call for sales and marketing collaboration, according to Junichi Miyakawa, Mitsubishi executive vice president.

Although the deal calls for so-called parts provisioning,” Mitsubishi’s Egawa said that the contract does not provide for warehousing or spare-parts distribution. Miyakawa explained that the parts-provisioning aspect of the deal calls for consultation with airlines on the kind of parts they will need in preparation for operations.

Under the term of the agreement, Boeing will also help tailor a web portal for Mitsibushi. Modeled on Boeing’s own customer support Web site–MyBoeingFleet.com–the new portal will support and airplane health-management system to monitor, collect and analyze real-time “smart” airplane data, allowing MRJ operators to decide on maintenance needs to minimize their aircraft’s time on the ground.