Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is a Japanese aircraft manufacturer. A division of Japanese heavy industries giant Mitsubishi Group, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation has a long history in the design and manufacture of military and helicopter aircraft, and Mitsubishi's current major project is the Mitsubishi Regional Jet. The Mitsubishi RJ is a 70 to 90-seat aircraft and it will be the first recipient of Pratt & Whitney's PW1000G Geared Turbofan engine. The aircraft is expected to enter commercial service in 2014 with launch customer All Nippon Airways. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is also a key manufacturer of aircraft frame and engine components, working with Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Sikorsky, Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and IAE to manufacture key components of their aircraft and engines.
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As new markets open up, the major OEMs Airbus and Boeing are seemingly happily ceding part of the market to the smaller manufacturers. Bombardier with its CSeries and now Embraer with its second generation E-Jets are equally content to take advantage of any opening. Others, like the Sukhoi, along with COMAC, Antonov and Mitsubishi, are also moving to occupy some of the vacuum.
Paris smiled on Embraer this month. Despite Bombardier's four year lead on Embraer in launching its new aircraft family, Embraer’s second generation E-Jets have already matched the CSeries in the order books. The Brazilian manufacturer formally launched the E-Jets E2 programme at the Paris Air Show. It has already booked 215 orders, commitments and letters of intent for the re-worked aircraft, from seven different customers, just bettering the CSeries’ total of 214 firm orders and commitments.
Embraer's track record has helped and most of the orders were from one source. SkyWest Airlines, the largest regional carrier in the US, announced a firm order for 100 aircraft, as well as another 100 purchase rights. This is in addition to SkyWest’s previous order in May-2013 for up to 200 current generation E-175 aircraft.
Highlights from the third day at Farnborough 2012
SkyWest has announced at the Farnborough Airshow a fleet replacement plan involving a tentative commitment to order up to 100 Mitsubishi MRJ regional jets. While the order may be seen as a boost for the programme, which has only 70 firm orders, it comes as SkyWest struggles to return to profitability after losing money during 2011 and recording a loss in 1Q2012. As Mitsubishi celebrates securing a high-profile US customer for the MRJ, SkyWest is basing its fleet plans on tenuous scope clause relief to create a small amount of growth in the stagnant US regional market.
Integration challenges created by its acquisition of ExpressJet in 2010 resulted in SkyWest missing its financial results target in each quarter for 2011, which culminated in the company’s first annual loss in 23 years. While the carrier shrank its 1Q2012 losses and promises a return to profitability in 2012, the carrier is embarking on a fleet revamp with little visible growth on the horizon for US regional carriers. The market must undergo change if SkyWest is to receive all 100 aircraft – or even a notable amount.
Japan Airlines Corp, Jetstar Airways and Mitsubishi Corp confirmed plans to establish a LCC JV in the Japan market by Dec-2012. Jetstar Japan will be Japan's third new LCC announced this year, following hard off the heels of All Nippon Airways' announcement last month that it plans to establish a JV with leading low cost airline AirAsia, AirAsia Japan, in addition to its previously announced LCC, Peach. The JAL JV would add another piece to the complex jigsaw that is now transforming the Asian airline market. The potential market growth as these successive ventures are introduced can be measured in the hundreds of millions of new passengers. Removal of highly restrictive regulatory conditions and the scale of opportunities as new city pair market options emerge mean literally that the sky is the limit for growth upsides.
MC Aviation Partners, child of Mitsubishi Corporation, aims to become a top-ranked lessor with a portfolio of more than USD5 billion. Currently sitting on a portfolio of USD3 billion, ranking it as the 13th largest lessor by fleet value, CEO Tatsuo Sato is confident his company will meet this target. Mr Sato talks to CAPA in this exclusive interview and shares his company's strategy, and MCAP's focus on B737NGs and A320s.
From volcanic eruptions and earthquakes to blizzards and floods, the world has been unsettled by a wave of natural disasters in the past year. Coupled with "man-made" events, such as the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, at what point will private operators decide that airport investment under such circumstances is not worth the risk?
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