Japan’s first ever passenger jet, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), received a 100-plane order from St. Louis, Missouri based Trans States Holding, which operates Trans States Airlines.
Trans States Holdings President Richard A. Leach said, “We are excited about the MRJ program and are extremely happy to be able to sign this letter of intent to purchase 100 MRJ aircraft. In addition, we are excited to be the first airline outside of Japan, as well as the first U.S. airline to make a commitment to the MRJ. We believe that the MRJ is a game-changing regional jet that takes into account the environment, as well as passenger and airline needs. The MRJ will reduce fuel consumption, noise and NOx emissions—this means savings on operating costs. By combining the largest cabin in the regional jet market with the innovative seat design and very quiet cabin, we will be able to offer our passengers the best comfort of any regional jet. As the parent company of the second largest privately owned regional airline in America, we offer 350 daily flights servicing 50 cities and transport over 5 million passengers annually. We are looking forward to the day that we will be operating this spectacular next-generation regional jet on our routes.”
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a outsourced supplier for the Boeing 787, is still declined to say how much the order was worth, but the catalogue price for the order is valued around $2 billion – $4 billion total if the 50 options go through.
Compared to jets in the same seat category, the plane is expected to cut fuel burn by 20-30 percent per hour. Trans States said that fuel costs are “very important.”
The aircraft uses a geared turbofan engine developed by Pratt & Whitney. The new technology is referred to as a fuel sipper, as the engine’s fans can operate at a different speed to the turbine.
Mitsubishi recently delayed the delivery date to revamp the design by increasing cabin / cargo space. Additionally, they switched from carbon-fiber to aluminum wings. Mitsubishi is advised by Boeing.