Mitsubishi Aircraft get firm order for 100 MRJ90s
Dec. 18, 2012, St. George, Utah - U.S.-based SkyWest has placed a $4.2 billon firm order with Japan-based Mitsubishi Aircraft for 100 next-generation MRJ90 aeroplanes, with an option to add another 100 jets.
Mitsubishi Aircraft, which is a 64 per cent-held subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is expected to deliver the first batch of aircraft from the firm order in 2017 and those from the optional order by 2021.
The optional order when exercised could almost double the deal's value to $8.2bn at list prices, according to the Japanese plane maker.
SkyWest president Bradford Rich said that the carrier was pleased to have collaboratively reached a definitive agreement with Mitsubishi Aircraft.
"SkyWest believes the MRJ, with its significant advancements in fuel economy, passenger comfort, and environmental friendliness, will be a valued addition to our fleet," Rich added.
SkyWest is the holding company for SkyWest Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines and an aircraft leasing company.
It operates a fleet of about 739 regional aircraft and serves the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean markets with more than 4,000 daily departures.
In July, Mitsubishi Aircraft announced that it had come to an agreement in principle with SkyWest for an order.
The latest firm order from SkyWest would enable the airplane manufacturer to compete in the regional jet market that is currently dominated by Brazil's Embraer and Canada-based Bombardier.
Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hideo Egawa said that this was a major firm order and a significant boost for the MRJ programme.
To date, the aircraft manufacturer has secured 325 cumulative orders, which includes 165 firm orders and 160 options.
Mitsubishi expects to hold a 20 per cent share in the smaller jet segment as the demand for fuel-efficient smaller jets is likely to increase over the next 20years, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Made with lightweight carbon fibre composites, the 70 to 90 seat MRJ will have fuel-efficient features and is expected to enter service in early-2013.