Japan’s first passenger jet for nearly 40 years, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), has found another customer in Japan Airlines (JAL). JAL and Mitsubishi Aircraft have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to order 32 MRJs, which JAL plans to deploy as the core aircraft on its domestic routes from 2021. The MRJs will be operated by J-AIR, the group’s 100% owned regional airline subsidiary.
Mitsubishi Aircraft has fitted the ‘Slim Seat’ from Delta Kogyo to its MRJ mockup, clad in a special 0.25in-thick net fabric. The Delta Kogyo seat option has been designed to give greater knee room
First deliveries of the MRJ to launch customers are scheduled to begin in 2017, and as a network carrier that also operates regional jets, JAL will not just operate the MRJ, but also provide comprehensive support. Other airlines that have ordered MRJs include All Nippon Airways (ANA), Eastern Airlines, SkyWest and Air Mandalay.
The JAL order is a mixture of 78-seat MRJ70s and 92-seat MRJ90s (based on an all-economy layout at a 29in pitch), all with a cabin width of 2.76m (108.5in) and a cabin height of 2.03m (80in), with stowage bins that can accommodate the biggest IATA roller bags (25 x 45 x 56cm (9.8 x 17.7 x 22in)). If 18in-wide seats are selected, the aisle will be a useful 18in-wide. At present we do not know how JAL will configure the aircraft, but whatever it decides, the process is simplified as the MRJ does not have emergency exits over the wings.