The news that Mitsubishi is delaying EIS of the MRJ 70/90 by more than a year is a small boost to competitors Bombardier and Embraer.
BBD offers the CRJ900 90-seater and EMB offers the E-170/175 70-seater and the 90 seat E-190.
Mitsubishi has sold only 70 MRJs since launch and we have long believed the company missed the market when offering the MRJ 70. EMB’s sales have long trended toward the larger E-190/195.
We don’t expect BBD and EMB to gain a lot of sales from the MRJ delay but there could be some. BBD’s CRJ900 is lighter and more fuel efficient than the E-190, though disadvantaged in cabin size. Mitsubishi‘s inability to meet schedule (thus joining Airbus and Boeing) reinforces the perceptions that new airplane programs these days and its difficult to keep promises (hence the skepticism for BBD’s CSeries–where plans remain to have first flight this year).
With mature airplane programs at BBD and EMB, we expect this delay to add to Mitsubishi’s difficulties in penetrating a shrinking market with the “wrong” airplane, the MRJ 70.