Mitsubishi Aircraft is working towards having a ready customer support network within the next two years, as the airframer prepares to deliver the Mitsubishi Regional Jet to airline customers.

"There are some areas around customer support that we have not gotten established yet," Alex Bellamy, the chief development officer and head of the programme management division for Mitsubishi Aircraft, tells FlightGlobal at the Farnborough air show.

"We recognise that and we're spending a lot of time and energy building a team, and using [parent company] Mitsubishi Heavy Industries [for] all the complex technology support systems."

So far, Mitsubishi Aircraft has selected three MROs as preferred service providers on the MRJ. They are HAECO Americas, Pemco World Air Services in North America, and All Nippon Airways' MRO unit in Japan. Mitsubishi is seeking to bring the MRJ90 into service with launch operator ANA in 2020.

Bellamy adds that the customer support network will also include spare parts support. He adds that Mitsubishi has involved its customer support team during flight tests as well.

"We have the customer support team sitting with the flight-test team, watching how the aircraft performs, and [if] we see a technical discrepancy we can analyse that to see if we can make a design change or a procedure change [so that] when the customer gets the aircraft will they be able to operate it six to eight sectors a day."

Mitsubishi says its maintenance intervals are equivalent to current-generation aircraft and will be extended after entry into service.

Bellamy explains that the collaboration of different teams follows recent management reforms undertaken by the airframer to keep delivery targets on schedule.

"It was clear from the early days that the were some areas of capability that we needed to reinforce – better project management and communication between teams.

"Project management sets the schedules, drives the tempo and puts recovery planning in place if we have a problem. Communication was about getting different teams to get others to help them if they had a problem, as a cross-functional team support," he says.

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Source: Cirium Dashboard