Taiwan's AIDC may make parts for Japan's MRJ

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Japan's Mitsubishi Aircraft is speaking to Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) about making parts for its Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) and will be making a decision in the coming months.

A Mitsubishi Aircraft spokeswoman in Tokyo says: "We've been talking to the manufacturer [AIDC] about a possible collaboration" that would involve AIDC making parts for the MRJ.

"We've been talking to the manufacturer for some time now but we have not come to a conclusion yet", although Mitsubishi will have to make a decision soon, she says.

This is because Mitsubishi Aircraft in the September-November period plans to freeze the aircraft design, she says, adding that this means it has to finalise deals with all its major suppliers in time for that.

The only supplier deals that can wait until after that are those that involve suppliers responsible for cabin interiors, she adds.

An official at AIDC in Taichung confirmed to ATI today that AIDC is speaking to Mitsubishi Aircraft about having some involvement in the MRJ programme but he declined to comment further, citing a non-disclosure agreement.

But Taiwan's Central News Agency quotes Taiwan's economics minister Yin Chi-ming as saying he is visiting Mitsubishi Aircraft this week to push AIDC's case for involvement in the MRJ programme.

AIDC is Taiwan's national aerospace manufacturer and mostly makes military aircraft but also has a commercial business that makes parts for western aircraft makers such as Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier.

Mitsubishi Aircraft hopes to sell MRJs to Taiwan. It has also been speaking to the Vietnamese Government about outsourcing some manufacturing work to Vietnam. In that instance Mitsubishi Aircraft has been trying to persuade the national carrier Vietnam Airlines to order MRJs.

Japan and Taiwan have traditionally had strong business and cultural ties, much to the chagrin of China.