Mitsubishi freezes regional jet program as COVID-19 trims demand

Following the news that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was freezing its SpaceJet regional aircraft programs;

Nicolas Jouan, Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the situation:

“Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is set to shut all locations outside Japan of its Aircraft division working on the SpaceJet program. This follows a previous announcement that it had reviewed the schedule of the SpaceJet program. The company is rightly wary of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is set to inflict hundreds of billions of losses to the airline industry in 2020. The outbreak instantly wiped out air travel as travel bans were established earlier this year. Since then, airliners such as Lufthansa and British Airways have engaged in trimming down their fleet and staff cuts.

“Competitors of Mitsubishi in the regional jet market are also going through some headwinds. Airbus has seen 16 cancellations for the A220 so far in 2020 – a high number compared to previous years – and Boeing backtracked from its joint-venture with Embraer on commercial aircrafts. For now, Mitsubishi is simply being cautious by freezing the SpaceJet program. But if the crisis endure, more radical measures could be taken and entire parts of the programs such as the M100 abandoned altogether.”

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