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.
Embraer ERJ 145 family
Another sign of what Embraer CEO Frederico Curado has characterized as a resurgent regional jet market appeared last week, when United Airlines inked a firm order for 30 of the Brazilian manufacturer’s E175s. The deal, which includes options on another 40 of the 76-seat airplanes, marks the first move by United to exploit its newfound freedom to alter the composition of its regional jet network since its pilots agreed to relax the scope clause in their labor contract last December.
United Airlines has moved to exploit newfound freedom to alter the composition of its regional jet network with a tentative deal to add 30 new Embraer E175s to the United Express fleet.
Brazilian manufacturer Embraer announced on Monday here at ABACE that it received another order for its Lineage 1000. The order is for a single aircraft, which is scheduled for delivery to an undisclosed Chinese customer in the first half of this year, according to Ernest Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets. The order builds on previous successes, including an order from Minsheng Financial Leasing for five Lineages.
The success enjoyed by outside players in providing capacity to Africa has meant regional and domestic business has assumed ever-increasing importance not just for Africa’s indigenous airlines but for the continent’s economic growth as well. The tremendous distances between population centers and the lack of convenient and reliable roads also make Africa a bumper opportunity for suppliers of regional jets with seating capacities of around 100.
Air France unveiled the name of a new regional airline in late January that it plans to form through the merger of its Brit Air, Régional and Airlinair affiliates. Plans call for the airline–dubbed HOP!–to launch operations this summer, operating point-to-point flights within Air France’s domestic network from Paris Orly and connecting service to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
Embraer believes it stands to benefit from the Indian military’s desire to maximize commonality in its fleet of aircraft in a bid to control maintenance costs. Five of the Brazilian manufacturer’s Legacy jets are in use with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Border Security Force for functions such as transporting government officials and visiting foreign dignitaries.
The FAA has proposed two civil penalties totaling $633,000 against Trans States Airlines. The carrier is alleged to have operated two Embraer ERJ145 regional jets on 3,660 passenger flights while the aircraft were out of compliance with FARs.
Embraer announced yesterday that it delivered 99 business jets last year, matching its total deliveries in 2011.
In the fourth quarter the Brazilian company shipped 53 business jets, three more than in the same quarter in 2011 and seven more than it did in the combined first three quarters of 2012. By model, the Brazilian OEM delivered 13 Phenom 100s, 24 Phenom 300s, 15 Legacy 650s and one Lineage 1000 in the last quarter. During the first three quarters of last year Embraer handed over 16 Phenom 100s, 24 Phenom 300s, four Legacy 650s, one Lineage 1000 and one ERJ shuttle.
The Middle East remains the sales sweet-spot when it comes to regions that business jet manufacturers look to for customers despite its relatively small size and the rapid emergence of China, Brazil and other countries where momentum is building. This is true in particular of large cabin jets and corporate versions of airliners.