MRJ in TSH livery

Mitsubishi Regional Jet secures first non-Japanese customer

US airline operator Trans States Holdings has committed itself to buying up to 100 Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and TSH signed a purchase agreement for 50 of the next-generation aircraft, with options on 50 more.

TSH, based in St. Louis, Missouri, is an airline holding company that owns and operates three independent airlines, Trans States Airlines, GoJet Airlines, and Compass Airlines, all of which have significant regional operations in North America.

The MRJ will be Japan's first home-developed passenger aircraft. Offered in 70-seat and 90-seat versions, it is being marketed as a "game-changing" aircraft with exceptional fuel economy, environmental performance and passenger comfort. It is expected to be ready for commercial service in 2014. The aircraft will be the first powered by Pratt & Whitney's PurePower geared-turbofan engines.

TSH president Richard A. Leach said: "We are the first airline outside of Japan to purchase this exciting new aircraft, and we will be the first to place it into service in the US. The MRJ will reduce fuel consumption, noise and NOx emissions - this means savings on operating costs. By combining the largest cabin in the regional jet market with the innovative seat design and very quiet cabin, we will be able to offer our passengers the best comfort of any regional jet."

The purchase agreement was signed on 27 December and announced this week in a Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. newsletter.

Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hideo Egawa commented: "Concluding this major order with TSH, the leading company in United States, has given confidence to our MRJ programme. Customers around the world have high expectations for the MRJ. Expectations and operational requirements are particularly high in the large and important US market, where there are many routes with airlines operating 50- to 100-seat regional jets."

This order combined with a June 2010 order for 25 aircraft (15 firm, 10 options) from All Nippon Airways brings the current number of orders for the MRJ to 125 aircraft (65 firm, 60 options).

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