Thursday, August 28, 2014

JAL orders 32 Mitsubishi MRJs and 27 Embraer E-Jets.

On August 28th, Japan Airlines (JL/JAL) and Mitsubishi Aircraft jointly announced that they had reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the airline to acquire 32 Mitsubishi Regional Jets (MRJs) with deliveries starting in 2021. It will be operated by JAL's commuter arm J-Air (XM/JLJ). The order is valued at 150 billion JPY at list prices.
Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) in JAL's livery. (Image: Mitsubishi)

At the same time, Japan's second largest carrier also reached an agreement with Embraer for 27 E-Jets, including 15 firm and 12 options. Both the 78-seat ERJ170 (E170), which the currently operates, and the larger 104-seat ERJ190 (E190), which would be a new variant for the airline, were announced, though the breakdown was not specified. Deliveries will start in 2015. J-Air already flies 15 E170s.
Embraer E-Jets in J-Air's livery. The ERJ190 (E190) would be a first for the group. (Image: Embraer)

"I've also taken a look at MRJs factory, and with a new Japanese-built aircraft in front, I was filled with deep emotions. I'm confident that it would be the aircraft for the next generation," said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of JAL. He explained that the order for Brazilian regional jets are a stop-gap measure, probably to replace the Bombardier/Canadair CRJs, and the regional fleet would eventually be standardized on the MRJ, sometime around 2028.

Although plagued by delays, the prototype MRJ will finally be rolled out on October 18th at Mitsubishi's plant at Nagoya/Komaki (NKM/RJNA), with first flight slated for April or May 2015. First delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways (NH/ANA), which has 25 on order, is expected in 2017. Powered by Pratt & Whitney's PurePower PW1200G series geared turbofan engines, the MRJ family consists of the 78-seat MRJ70, which can fly 3,380 kilometers (2,100 miles), and the 92-seat MRJ90, with a 3,310-kilometer (2,050 miles) range. It is Japan's first commercial airliner since the NAMC YS-11 was introduced in 1965.

Reference: Japan Airlines, August 28th. (in Japanese)
Reference: Japan Airlines, August 28th. (in Japanese)
Reference: Japan Airlines, August 28th. (in Japanese)

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