Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has officially announced that it will withdraw from the development of Japan's first jet airliner "SpaceJet".
Despite spending a huge amount of money on development, it was not profitable and was forced to withdraw.
The space jet project started in 2008 under the name of "MRJ" = "Mitsubishi Regional Jet", and has been developed with the support of about 50 billion yen from the government.
However, due to lack of technical capabilities, there were repeated delivery delays, and in 2020, due to the corona crisis, the development was virtually frozen because there was no prospect of a recovery in air travel demand.
Regarding the reason for the withdrawal, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said that continuing development would cost about 100 billion yen a year, and that it would be difficult to ensure profitability in the current market environment.
According to the company, about 270 aircraft have been ordered so far, but in the future, we will discuss with the airline company that ordered it about the compensation associated with the cancellation of development.
In addition, the company plans to proceed with discussions with the invested company in the direction of liquidating the subsidiary Mitsubishi Aircraft, which was in charge of development.
At the financial results conference on the 7th, President Seiji Izumisawa said, "We have received a lot of support and expectations, but it is very regrettable that development has been canceled. We are sorry that we could not deliver the aircraft."
Also known as the “Hinomaru Jet,” the project, which involved public-private partnerships and huge amounts of development costs, came to an end without being realized as a business.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno "Expectations for future efforts"
At a press conference in the afternoon, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said, "This time, development has been canceled, but we believe that through our efforts so far, we have contributed to the improvement of Japan's aircraft development technology and capabilities, including human resource development." said.
In addition, he said, "Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has a policy of utilizing the experience and human resources cultivated in the development of the space jet so far in projects such as the development of the next fighter, and I would like to expect future efforts."