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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., “plans to freeze development of its Spacejet regional jet as the coronavirus pandemic..” reported Reuters. and Kyodo News reports “MHI is considering sharply scaling back the staff and budget for developing the first domestically manufactured regional jet, effectively freezing the operation due to a slump in demand caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic”
The MHI has been developing a 76-seat aircraft called the Mitsubishi SpaceJet, previously known as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet., And was originally planned to delivery to All Nippon Airways Co in 2013, has been postponed to 2021, or possibly later, due to problems with parts and a lack of technical experts.
The Spacejet, if successfully launched, would be the first commercial aircraft manufactured in Japan in 50 years following the YS-11 turboprop plane by Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corp.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is expected to announce the decision on Oct. 30 when it unveils a new medium-term business strategy.
Delivery of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet has been delayed six times so far despite around 1 trillion yen ($9.6 billion) having already been poured into the development of the airplane.