Mitsubishi Aircraft has turned to Zodiac Seats to provide economy class seats for its new MRJ70 and MRJ90 regional airliners, after canceling a previous contract with Japan’s Delta Kogyo. According to marketing director Yugo Fukuhara, Mitsubishi and Delta Kogyo mutually agreed to scrap the agreement after failing to agree a plan for certifying the seats. The Japanese airframer wanted a specific TSO, but Delta Kogyo wanted the seats to be certified as part of the MRJ’s overall type certificate.
Zodiac, which is the U.S. subsidiary of France-based Zodiac Aerospace, is already supplying business class seats for the MRJ90 and MRJ70 and has agreed to give Mitsubishi more options for types of seat used for the aircraft. Having the seats certified under a TSO also gives the seat supplier responsibility for maintenance and supporting the equipment.
In December 2012, Mitsubishi achieved a breakthrough, $4.2 billion order from SkyWest Airlines of the U.S. to buy 100 MRJ90s, with deliveries set to start in 2017.