Is this the beginning of the end for the Mitsubishi SpaceJet?

Johanna Koyser
2 minutes

The Mitsubishi SpaceJet – just under a year ago there was great anticipation for the first commercial aircraft made in Japan. WingMag also reported on the upcoming certification of the aircraft. But then, the Corona crisis hit and the anticipation of the Mitsubishi aircraft was severely dampened.

In May, the company officially announced that the SpaceJet project would be put on hold for the time being. At the same time, the company hoped for better economic times, but these are currently a long time coming. Today, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation issued an official statement. The statement announces that Aerolease Aviation is withdrawing from its purchase contract for ten SpaceJets. The aircraft lessor had already secured ten of the Japanese aircraft in 2016 and also had options on a further ten. 

Mitsubishi and Aerolease Aviation part ways

However, the two parties do not part on bad terms. Jep Thornton, Managing Partner of Aerolease Aviation, also has his say in the official statement.

Aerolease has been a strong advocate of Mitsubishi Aircraft’s efforts to produce a latest generation regional jet with the SpaceJet. It has been a pleasure working with the Mitsubishi Aircraft team over the past five years. It is clear to us that the market is in need of such an aircraft and that creates a unique opportunity. Although our agreement with Mitsubishi Aircraft has ended at the end of 2020, we wish the team success in eventually restarting the program as soon as practicable and we remain interested in resuming our relationship with them when that happens.

Jep Thornton, Managing Partner of Aerolease Aviation

Such words of praise and friendship are nice in times like these, however, this could also be the beginning of many order cancellations. Mitsubishi Aircraft is officially taking a three-year break. But whether there will still be demand for SpaceJets in three years’ time is uncertain.

Picture © Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation

by Johanna Koyser

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