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PARIS: MRJ on track for delivery in mid-2020

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' chief executive Shunichi Miyanaga reiterated his personal commitment to the MRJ regional jet programme as the aircraft made its debut at the Paris air show.

Speaking to media, Miyanaga said the main purpose of bringing the 90-seater to Paris was to demonstrate the steady progress of the programme, despite the schedule delay announced in January.

FTA-3 has been taken out of flight tests for about two weeks to be put on static display until 21 June. The manufacturer managed to conduct some tests on the aircraft's avionics during the ferry flight to Paris.

The jet is painted in the livery of launch customer All Nippon Airways, which says it has been working with Mitsubishi on the MRJ's development since ordering the aircraft in 2008. The Japanese airline is also working to ensure it is ready to receive the jet, says ANA Holdings vice-chairman Osamu Shinobe.

Acknowledging that the programme has been "challenging", Miyanaga says the first priority is to achieve type certification "as early as possible". He adds that all is on track for Mitsubishi to make its first delivery by mid-2020, and that there is an internal target to do so by 2019.

Mitsubishi says the avionics bay reconfiguration design has been frozen, and that works are ongoing to fix the rerouting of the aircraft's wire harnesses.

The Japanese manufacturer in January announced that it need to relocate some components in the MRJ's avionics bay and to reassess the routing of the aircraft's 23,000 wires. This redesign, necessitated by safety and certification requirements, pushed the first delivery of the programme by two years to mid-2020.

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