Yugo Fukuhara, Vice President and General Manager, Sales and Marketing for Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, provided an update on the MRJ program at the Paris Air Show today, highlighting the Mitsubishi market forecast and competitive position of the MRJ.
Mitsubishi forecasts a 60% growth in the regional jet market over the next 20 years, moving from 3,246 to 5,333 regional jets in service.
Geographically, the North American market will remain the largest, followed by Europe, Asia-Pacific, and China.
The MRJ is the only clean sheet aircraft in this segment, and the advantages of a clean sheet design are a differentiating factor for the MRJ, despite its delayed entry into service.
Fuel efficiency and economics are a key example of the competitiveness of the MRJ, as shown in the chart below comparing the MRJ90 to the Embraer E175 and E190.
Scope clause restrictions in the United States currently would exclude the MRJ90 until the next contract review date of 2019, as summarized in the table below. Mitsubishi is planning to offer the MRJ70 as an alternative for the US market should scope clauses remain the same, as industry sources indicate is likely.
The MRJ70 will be the only next generation RJ to meet scope clause restrictions in the US market, which is the largest single market for regional jets. EIS for the MRJ70 is projected in 2022.
The MRJ order book includes 233 orders and 194 options, for a total for 427 commitments.
The Bottom Line:
The MRJ, despite a slow start and multiple delays, appears to be turning the corner. The current delay, caused by wiring issues, is being addressed and the program is on target for a 2020 entry into service with ANA. With a strong portion of the market currently unavailable due to scope clause issues, the rapid development of the MRJ-70 after the MRJ-90 will be a key to market success.