Mesa gives Mitsubishi Aircraft major boost for SpaceJet M100 program

©Mitsubishi SpaceJet

Mitsubishi Aircraft has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mesa Airlines for an order of up to 100 of the newly branded SpaceJet M100 76-seat regional aircraft, previously known as the MRJ100 in a 70-seat configuration.

The MoU was signed at the annual Regional Airline Association held in Nashville between September 4 and September 7 and calls for Mitsubishi Aircraft and Mesa Airlines To “commence formal negotiations for the purchase [of 100 M100s].” The deal proposes a firm order for 50 of the Pratt & Whitney PW1200 geared turbofan-powered aircraft and obtaining purchase rights for a further 50. Deliveries would be expected to commence in 2024.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced earlier this year that it had acquired the Bombardier CRJ program for US$550 million in cash and US$200 in assumed liabilities. The deal was seen as a major fillip for the beleaguered MRJ program which has been continuously beset by delays. “Mesa Airlines’ selection of the SpaceJet M100 confirms that our aircraft fulfils current and future needs in this industry, and that airlines are ready to move our discussions forward,” commented Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hisakazu Mizutani. “With its large cabin, comfort, new technology and low operating costs, the Mitsubishi SpaceJet M100 can deliver this premium experience within US scope clause,” said Mesa chief executive Jonathan Ornstein. Mesa Airlines is part of the Mesa Group and is a major U.S. regional carrier headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona with a combined fleet of 144 Bombardier and Embraer aircraft operating under the names of United Express and American Eagle.

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