LONDON — Eastern Air Lines, yes that Eastern, has placed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi for twenty MRJ90 regional jets. The deal includes options for up to twenty more.
The jets will begin delivery in 2019. Upon delivery Eastern plans to fly them from its Miami hub to destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America, though Eastern CEO Edward Wegel declined to say where. Details on interior configuration were scant too, but Wegel estimated an 82 seat capacity. The MRJ90 is restricted to a two-two configuration, with a maximum capacity of 92.
Wegel explained that his choice for the jet was connected in part to the choice of power plant, Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower geared turbofan engine.
The jet has 275 firm orders thus far, and 325 total commitments. It is targeting a first flight date in the second quarter of 2015, followed by an entry into service with launch customer Skywest in Q2 2017.
Related, Wegel says Eastern remains on track to be airborne by the first quarter of 2015. The airline intends to run charter service with Boeing 737-800 aircraft until it reaches enough mass to switch to scheduled service.