Mitsubishi is expected to announce the acquisition of the CRJ programme from Bombardier at this month's Paris air show in a move which will bolster its global footprint.

The Japanese company confirms it is in negotiations for the 50-100 seat regional jet programme, but says that no decision has been made and declines to comment on the content of discussions.

FlightGlobal understands that Mitsubishi is finalising negotiations with a likely announcement to be made at the Paris air show. The move will signal the end of Bombardier’s participation in commercial aircraft manufacturing. It will leave the Canadian manufacturer free to focus on its business-aircraft activities.

Mitsubishi is expected to announce the acquisition

Max Kingsley-Jones / FlightGlobal

Mitsubishi produces the MRJ regional jet, a rival to the CRJ. Bombardier and Mitsubishi are currently in a dispute with the Canadian company alleging theft of trade secrets related to CSeries certification and Global 7000 systems.

The Japenese company currently has a long-standing contract with Boeing for the US manufacturer to provide customer support for the MRJ regional jet. A 10-year partnership for round-the-clock customer support was agreed back in 2011. However, with Boeing having now forged a tie-up with Mitsubishi rival Embraer in the commercial aircraft sector, observers say that the Bombardier CRJ deal could help the Japanese company establish an independent footprint for support.

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Source: Cirium Dashboard