Mitsubishi Aircraft will deliver 100 regional airplanes to SkyWest Inc., an US commuter carrier.
The planes, each with 90 seats, will be delivered from 2017 under the accord announced Wednesday, July 11th, at the Farnborough air show outside London.
“It is a major boost for the MRJ program, which has struggled with delivery delays and weak orders, potentially positioning the MRJ for additional orders in the U.S. market,” Cameron Doerksen, an analyst with National Bank Financial in Montreal, said in a note to clients.
SkyWest is the largest operator of Bombardier regional jets, which builds the CRJ regional-jet family, with models featuring 100 seats. Mitsubishi’s deal with SkyWest won’t stop Bombardier from bidding for new business from SkyWest, who has already implied it plans to replace most part of its 512 50-seat regional jets.
“SkyWest has a need for a much broader fleet replacement and we believe Bombardier remains positioned for an order from SkyWest, especially for its Q400 turboprop,” Cameron Doerksen said.
Bombardier is already in talks with SkyWest for a possible regional-jet order for ‘hundreds of planes’. Today, July 12th, Bombardier is expected to announce an order for Q400 turboprops at the air show. SkyWest Chief Financial Officer Michael Kraupp couldn’t be reached for details.