Mitsubishi Aircraft is closing all non-Japan locations and moving all SpaceJet activities back to its headquarters in Nagoya, Japan, a move coming in response to cost pressure amid the coronavirus aerospace downturn.

As part of the consolidation to Japan, the company will halt flight testing of its 90-seat SpaceJet M90 regional jet and suspend development of its 76-seat M100, Mitsubishi Aircraft says.


The SpaceJet M90 at the 2019 Paris air show

The airframer is continuing M90 certification efforts, though those activities will shift for now to validation and other back-office work, it says. The company will also reevaluate the M90 certification plan after hitting budget objectives, Mitsubishi Aircraft says.

Mitsubishi Aircraft had been flight testing the M90 in the USA at Moses Lake, and in Japan.

The overseas closures target all non-Japan locations. Mitsubishi Aircraft has not announced any change to a plan under which its parent Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will acquire Bombardier’s CRJ programme for $550 million.

Just weeks ago, Mitsubishi and Bombardier said that deal would close on 1 June.

News of the overseas retreat follows an announcement last week that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries would halve the SpaceJet’s budget for the year ending 31 March 2021. At that time, MHI also said it would review development of the M100, which Mitsubishi Aircraft launched at the Paris air show in 2019.