Middle East carriers in talks for low-fuel Japanese regional jet

The next generation regional jet will offer top class operational economy and outstanding cabin comfort. (ERIK ARAZAS)

Middle East carriers have been involved in talks with Japan's Mitsubishi company for the purchase of a revolutionary aircraft that is expected to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent, its makers said yesterday.

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) will have its first test flight by the end of 2012 and start commercial flights in 2014, said Hiromichi Takakuma, Manager of Marketing at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, which is manufacturing the jet.

Speaking to Emirates Business at the World Future Energy Summit, Hiromichi said the jet would have 100 seats and accommodate between 70 and 90 passengers. He said the jet would be the first sold to the Japanese ANA airlines, while 100 aircraft would be supplied to Trans State Holdings of the United States.

"We expect a strong demand for this aircraft because it will save money. We have secured orders from Japan and the US and are negotiating with some airlines in the Middle East."

According to Mitsubishi, MRJ is the "next generation" regional jet, which will offer both top class operational economy and outstanding cabin comfort.

"By featuring a game-changing engine, state-of-the-art aerodynamic design, and noise analysis technology, MRJ will significantly cut fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent, noise and emissions. This means MRJ will achieve significantly lower operating costs than currently operating regional jets."

"Maintenance has been considered from the initial design phase and MRJ will achieve both high reliability and low maintenance costs," the company said about MRJ, a prototype of which is at display at the show.

Its figures showed passenger traffic is expected to nearly triple in 20 years and demand for 70-90 seat aircraft would be more than 5,000 units. "This is due to the market trend of up-sizing from 50-seat regional jets and route-transfers from mainline jets to large RJs in consequence of high fuel price and low passenger yield," it said.

 

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