A rollout ceremony held Saturday in Nagoya, Japan, for the Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet marked a symbolic end of a 50-year wait for a new Japanese airliner to take shape. Not since the NAMC YS-11 turboprop flew for the first time in 1962 has a Japanese effort to break into the commercial airplane market reached such a state of progress. Under development for some seven years, the MRJ finally looks like an airplane capable of flying—and ultimately delivering the 20-percent fuel efficiency improvement over current designs Mitsubishi Aircraft advertises.
Two manufacturers shared the spoils of Japan Airlines’ major commitment announced last week covering a total of 47 regional jets. But the potentially bigger and undoubtedly more desperate winner proved to be Mitsubishi, the upstart regional jet manufacturer whose orderbook now shows memoranda of understanding, tentative agreements and firm orders from six customers.
A new firm order for seven E190 airliners from Venezuela’s Conviasa led Embraer’s commercial activity here yesterday. The deal involved a conversion of options from an order placed in July 2012 and raised Conviasa’s firm order count to 13 E190s. It still holds options for another seven.
Embraer also identified Japan Airlines as the customer for an order for four more E170s. With that deal, JAL has now placed firm orders for 15 E170s.
Last month’s Regco order for 10 Q400s accompanied a flurry of minor transactions for Bombardier since AIN’s February issue went to press, starting with a contract for a pair of 74-seat Q400s from South African Airways.
Could Embraer have become the first voice in aviation to commit to the notion that passengers aren’t necessarily all enthralled with the “no frills” concept of air travel and that they may be prepared to pay a little bit extra to feel less like self-loading cargo?
Japan Airlines said it will order 10 Embraer E170s and place an option on another five airplanes this spring. The airline plans to place the airplanes with its J-Air regional subsidiary next year in a bid to “help JAL meet the business chances in and after FY2009 resulting from increased slots due to the expansion of Tokyo’s Haneida airport.” The sale would mark Embraer’s entrée into Japan and come as a serious blow to Bombardier, whose 50-se
Japan’s Aichi Prefecture recently completed construction of the Central Japan Airport (RJGG) to accommodate airline demand for slots that was straining Nagoya Airport beyond capacity. While the new airport, more commonly called Centrair, is big news, it’s what the government did with the old Nagoya Airport that is even more significant.
Tokyo’s Nagoya Airport remained on schedule to become Japan’s first hub facility dedicated to business and commuter aircraft. The airport is expected to serve its last major airline flight at approximately 10 p.m. on February 16. All airliners will be ferried that night to the new Central Japan International Airport. The Aichi local government will take over operation of Nagoya at midnight.