Mitsubishi announced to rework its regional aircraft program, formerly known as MRJ, before air show in Paris in June 2019. Many significant changes were introduced including the redesign of the MRJ70 into a 76-seater that was called “The Concept” at that time.
Then, just days before the show Mitsubishi made a huge announcement and rebranded MRJ as SpaceJet. But, it’s been a year since the air show and we have not seen any major progress on the M100.
The company has cut the funding for this program, as they need to set an appropriate budget for SpaceJet. This was announced by the parent company in the full-year results that were released on the 11th of May. The budget for this year that will end on 31 March 2021, would be $557 million, half of what it was before. One of the reasons for the budget-cut is the losses that occurred by acquiring Bombardier’s CRJ program.
The parent company also said that they are committed to introducing the SpaceJet to the market, but they are considering the M100 feasibility study. SpaceJet has faced different issues in the past like order cancellations and development delays, but now it is affected by the shake-up of the local jet market. It all started when Bombardier decided to exit the market and sold its CSeries program to Airbus.
Then, there were chances of the partnership between Boeing and Brazilian Embraer, which didn’t happen because the US airframer bailed out, due to its different issues. According to aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia, this should have been good news for Mitsubishi, as it provides the company edge against the Brazilian airframer.
Many analysts believe that the current crisis that has affected the aviation market and lowers the demands could be beneficial for Mitsubishi. As it allows the company to review its development programs. As Bombardier is exiting the space, this means the only competition for Mitsubishi is Embraer, so the company can seize this opportunity by reviewing the development program and present a better product in the market.