Japan’s first indigenous commercial passenger jet, the MRJ, is on track to make its first flight this year, according to Hideo Egawa, chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi Aircraft. While Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has long contributed components and assemblies in support of other manufacturer’s projects, the next-generation MRJ represents its first designed and produced passenger jet. Indeed, Egawa described the task of integrating all the efforts to produce the regional jet as one of the biggest challenges Mitsubishi Aircraft has faced since its launch in 2008.
“Can we bring back the glory days of flying, like when there was the Pan Am Clipper?”
This is the question that Embraer Executive Jets vice president of interior design, Jay Beever, asked, which led directly to a 32- to 36-seat VIP shuttle concept of the Embraer E-195 regional jet. The Brazilian company’s executive jets division unveiled this concept intended for both airlines and aircraft charter firms early last month.
Bombardier Aerospace announced last month that Nordic Aviation Capital of Billund, Denmark, has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire four Q400 turboprops. Bombardier places the value of the contact, based on list prices, at $134.77 million.
Embraer expects to see substantial sales activity over the next few months involving 70- and 76-seat E-Jets as U.S. major airlines respond to relaxed union limits on regional jets among their regional airline partners, according to the manufacturer’s CEO, Frederico Curado.
Miami, Florida-based Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) has launched a passenger-to-freighter conversion program for the Bombardier CRJ100 and CRJ200 regional jets, the company announced Thursday.
Bombardier Aerospace delivered 179 business jets last year, 16 more than in 2011. During this same period, the company received net orders for 343 business jets, compared with 191 for the previous year. “We are the market leaders in business aircraft, and the restructuring of our commercial aircraft sales organization is yielding results,” said Bombardier Aerospace president and COO Guy Hachey. “We are seeing positive momentum across our entire product portfolio,” which also includes regional jets.
Denmark’s Nordic Aviation Capital has signed a firm purchase agreement for 12 Bombardier CRJ1000s, all of which it plans to lease to Garuda Indonesia–Bombardier’s previously announced Asian launch customer for the 100-seat jet.
Russia was a priority for Bombardier long before it dispatched Q400 C-GLKU on a worldwide tour. Now, with issuance of Russian certification of the high-speed turboprop on June 6, Bombardier redoubled its marketing efforts in the promising market, sending the Q400 demonstrator to Moscow, Saratov, Kazan, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Kemerovo, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yakutsk, Magadan and Anadyr from May 21 to June 9. Over the next 20 years, the Canadian manufacturer expects Russia to need some 200 large turboprops and, as of now, Bombardier builds the biggest and fastest, albeit also the most expensive.
The first airline in the Western Hemisphere to fly the current generation of 50-seat regional jets will cease all operations by the end of September. Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair, a Bombardier CRJ operator since 1993, will fly its last passenger on September 29, marking the end of a 35-year run as one of the most recognizable names in the U.S. regional airline business.