MIAMI — Japan Airlines (JAL) announced orders for up to 52 regional jets on Thursday. The order includes both Embraer EJets and Mitsubishi’s new MRJ.
Japan-based JAL signed a firm order with Embraer for fifteen E-Jets, split between the E170 and E190. It did not say how many of each would be delivered. The order also included options for up to twelve more of the jets. Deliveries will begin in 2015, with the airplanes going to its regional subsidiary, J-Air.
The carrier also penned a letter of intent with Mitsubishi for thirty-two MRJ aircraft. It did not say which version it had ordered. JAL says the airplane will function as the next generation of regional jet for the company, with deliveries scheduled to begin to J-Air in 2021.
ANA, JAL’s chief rival, placed an order for up to 25 of the jets in 2008.
The order is welcome news for both manufacturers, but especially for Mitsubishi. Of the 400 commitments for the jet only about half are firm. It has been battling production delays for some time, and is currently set to make its first delivery in 2017.
Once aloft, it will compete in the 70-90 seat jet market against Bombardier’s CRJ700/900 and Embraer’s revamped E2-175 & E2-190.