The delayed new Mitsubishi SpaceJet regional airliner could see its future on the line.
Parent company Mitsubishi Heavy Industry has announced it will cut the budget for the development of the new 76-seat airliner to $558 million for 2021.
With a number of prototype aircraft recently in the test programme being carried out at Moses Lake, WA, the SpaceJet (formerly know as the MRJ) first flew in 2015 but has seen its launch postponed to 2021.
All Nippon Airways is set to be the launch customer.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industry has cited the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on a suspension of testing and work towards type certification. The virus has also impacted other aspects of MHI, as has its status as a supplier to beleaguered Boeing, which have both seen finances fall into the red.
MHI are currently in the process of purchasing the CRJ aircraft line from Bombardier, which should add another regional airliner to its stable and see the Canadian jet continue in production under updated models in the future.
Yet with the global forecast for airlines showing signs of taking years to recover, orders for new aircraft are being abandoned in favour of consolidation. This may prove difficult for Mitsubishi as it tries to secure a place in the market.