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Rumors suggest Mitsubishi Aircraft to delay SpaceJet delivery once again

Tokyo, Japan - Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation reportedly seeks to delay delivery of its SpaceJet for six months.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Japanese aircraft manufacturer is about to set a new delivery target as it struggles to obtain type certification from the Japanese and International civil aviation regulators.

Mitsubishi Aircraft previously announced that it would deliver the first SpaceJet to the launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) in mid-2020.

If pushed back again, it will be the sixth delay for the Japan's first modern commercial jet program. The company is expected to announce the new delivery date next month.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. launched the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) program in 2008 targeting 2013 as the year for entry into service.

In 2009, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) subsidiary announced the first delay due to changes made to the aircraft's wing design.

In 2012, Mitsubishi came up with one more postponement. The company announced that it delayed the first flight of its MRJ Jet to 2013.

In 2013, in 2015 and 2017, the Japanese manufacturer announced new delays for several reasons such as wiring defects that have obstructed the development of a final prototype.

This year Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. rebranded the aircraft as SpaceJet and revealed the 76-seat M100 variant in a three-class cabin configuration, specifically designed for the US regional jet market.

Last month, Phoenix, Arizona-based MESA Airlines has placed and order for 50 SpaceJet with 50 options.

Also read: MESA Airlines signs for 50 SpaceJet with 50 options

In the meantime, the parent Mitsubishi Heavy Industries finalized a deal with the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier to acquire its CRJ program.

The acquisition of Bombardier's CRJ is supposed to help Mitsubishi Aircraft to obtain additional know-how to improve its SpaceJet program.

Japan's largest airline operator ANA (All Nippon Airways) is the launch customer of the Mitsubishi Aircraft's SpaceJet. The manufacturer will presumably pay compensation for this delay as it would go beyond the Tokyo Olympics next year.

SpaceJet has so far accumulated 213 orders with 234 options mainly from the US and Japanese airline operators.