Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Bombardier announced on Thursday that all conditions for the acquisition of the CRJ program have been met and that the transaction will close on June 1. As of this date, the MHI RJ Aviation Group will be created, which will assume the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing, and sales activities for the CRJ Series aircraft, along with the type certificates.
The agreement, which had been revealed in June last year, would have gone through some deadlocks that could have even threatened its implementation, according to rumors.
MHI, which owns Mitsubishi Aircraft, responsible for the SpaceJet regional jet program, has decided to take over Bombardier’s CRJ series to gain access to its global support network.
This shortcut will allow the Japanese to have enough infrastructure to serve customers of the M90 and M100 models, in addition to creating conditions for the sale of the two jets, which today have few orders. “MHIRJ will provide a holistic servicing and support solution for the global aircraft industry including the CRJ Series aircraft, and eventually, for the Mitsubishi SpaceJet family of next-generation regional jets,” said the company.
End of production
Mitsubishi will not be entitled to produce the CRJ jets, which will have their assembly line finished soon after Bombardier completes the 18 planes that are still pending in its backlog.
The CRJ series was launched by Bombardier in 1991 with the CRJ 100 and 200 models based on its Challenger business jet. With rows of four seats, the aircraft was well accepted by regional airlines, especially in the USA. In 1999, the manufacturer launched the CRJ700, with a capacity for 78 passengers, and years later the CRJ900 (90 seats) and CRJ1000 (104 seats) models.
In 2019, months before selling the division, Bombardier introduced the latest version of the regional jet, the CRJ550, based on the CRJ700, but offering 50 seats in three classes. In nearly two decades, planemaker has produced more than 1,800 aircraft from the CRJ family.