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Mitsubishi reduces MRJ seat count

Mitsubishi Aircraft has reduced the number of seats on both the MRJ90 and the MRJ70, ostensibly with the goal of increasing seat pitch.

The MRJ90 will now have 88 seats, down from 92; the MRJ70 will have 76 seats, down from 78. The changes were reflected on a new website launched last November.

Cutting the number of seats will allow the MRJ to have an “industry standard” seat pitch of 31inch, up from 29inch, while also reducing the weight of the aircraft, says Mitsubishi.

The changes, however, do not affect the characteristics and performance of the aircraft, the Japanese manufacturer stressed. It adds that aircraft dimensions have not changed.

Asked about the weight of the aircraft, Mitsubishi says: "There is no overweight issue now." It is also not undertaking any weight reduction measures for the aircraft.

It explains that the 408kg weight reduction brought about by fewer seats will extend the aircraft’s range by about 230km. Mitsubishi has also changed its calculation accounting for "divert range", cutting it from 370km to 185km.

An old brochure shows the MRJ90's range as 1,670km. This will increase to 2,120km with the new calculation coupled with the reduced seat count. The MRJ70, previously touted to have a range of 1,530km, will now have a range of 1,880km.

The MRJ90 now matches its largest competitor the Embraer 175 E2, which will have a range of 2,060km, when configured with 88 seats.

Last month, Mitsubishi announced a year-long delay to the MRJ delivery, adding that it will need to strengthen the aircraft’s airframe and upgrade its software.

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