SkyWest anticipates first MRJ in 2018

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Utah-based regional carrier SkyWest Inc expects its first Mitsubishi Aircraft MRJ90 in late 2018, says chief executive Jerry Atkins.

Delivery is delayed by about 18-months from early 2017, he tells Flightglobal on the sidelines of the Raymond James Global Airline Conference in New York today.

The 2018 delivery timetable is not firm and may change, he adds.

The comments come a day after SkyWest executives said that it has no financial obligation to keep its order for the 90-seat regional jet if delays continue to mount.

“The folks at Mitsubishi have to deliver the airplane that’s advertised and they need to do it in a timeframe that makes sense for us,” said Brad Rich, president of SkyWest. “If that doesn’t happen, we have no financial obligations or commitments to take the type.”

SkyWest has firm orders for 100 MRJ90s and options for another 100 of the type.

Mitsubishi announced the more than a year delay to the MRJ programme this past August, pushing first flight back to the second quarter of 2015 and delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) to the second quarter of 2017.