All Nippon Airways (ANA), one of Japan’s largest airlines, has recently announced the cancellation of its order for the SpaceJet aircraft, following Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) decision to suspend the program. This decision marks a setback for MHI, which had hoped to compete with Boeing and Airbus in the regional aircraft market.
The SpaceJet Program
The SpaceJet program was developed by MHI as a regional aircraft with the aim of competing with Boeing and Airbus in this market. The program was originally called the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) but was rebranded as the SpaceJet in 2019. The aircraft was designed to be fuel-efficient, with a spacious cabin and advanced avionics.
ANA’s Order and Cancellation
In 2008, ANA placed an order for 25 MRJ aircraft, which was later increased to 32 SpaceJets. However, after several delays and setbacks in the program, ANA has now decided to cancel its order. ANA has stated that it will work with MHI to minimize the impact of the cancellation.
Reasons for the Program’s Cancellation
The SpaceJet program faced numerous challenges, including technical issues and delays in obtaining certification from aviation regulators. The COVID-19 pandemic also had a significant impact on the aviation industry, leading to a decrease in demand for new aircraft. These factors, along with the high cost of developing the aircraft, led to MHI’s decision to suspend the program.
Impact on MHI and the Regional Aircraft Market
The cancellation of ANA’s order is a significant setback for MHI, as it had hoped to establish itself as a major player in the regional aircraft market. The suspension of the program will also have an impact on the Japanese economy, as it was seen as a key project in the country’s efforts to develop its aerospace industry. In addition, the cancellation of the SpaceJet program may have implications for other regional aircraft manufacturers, as competition in this market is already fierce.
The cancellation of ANA’s order for the SpaceJet aircraft following the program’s suspension marks a setback for MHI, which had hoped to compete with Boeing and Airbus in the regional aircraft market. The decision highlights the challenges faced by aircraft manufacturers in developing new models, particularly in the current economic climate. The impact of the cancellation of the SpaceJet program may be felt not only by MHI but also by the wider regional aircraft market.