AIRSHOW-UPDATE 1-M’bishi says MRJ jet should capture 30 pct mkt

*Says MRJ to help airlines cut costs by $10-$20 mln in 20
yrs

*Plans to initially target Southeast Asia and India markets

*Says 90-seat MRJ series priced at around $40 mln

(Updates with more details)

By Mariko Katsumura and Harry Suhartono

SINGAPORE, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp, a
unit of Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (7011.T: ), said
its new MRJ jet, Japan’s first domestically developed passenger
aircraft, should capture 30 percent of the short-haul market in
10 years.

The jet, to be built in 70-seat and 90-seat variants, will
be more fuel efficient and help airlines cut operating costs by
as much as $20 million over the next 20 years, said Yosuke
Takigawa, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

The 90-seater will be priced at around $40 million, he
said.

Mitsubishi is keen to drum up more business for the MRJ,
which is likely to compete against Brazilian aircraft maker
Embraer’s (EMBR3.SA: ) regional jet series.

The MRJ project is seen by some as Japan’s final hope for
aircraft manufacturing with the first aircraft expected to go
into service in 2014.

“The airline market is still undergoing a tough time, but
we expect a big potential in the regional jet market,” Takigawa
told Reuters on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow.

Takigawa said the company’s initial plan is to raise MRJ’s
presence in Southeast Asia and India.

Mitsubishi Aircraft, owned 64 percent by Mitsubishi Heavy,
has so far received orders for 125 aircraft, including 25 from
All Nippon Airways (9202.T: ).

“Since there will be a number of Embraer aircraft that will
see their current leasing contracts ending in or around 2014,
our entry to the market (in 2014) would be timely in order to
win customers,” Takigawa said.

Takigawa said the company is also looking to finalise its
first sales deal with Japan Airlines (JAL) (9205.T: ), which
filed for bankruptcy on January 19.

Under the government-led restructuring planned for JAL, the
carrier plans to reconfigure its fleet by retiring all of its
37 Boeing (BA.N: ) 747-400 and all 16 McDonnell Doughlas MD-90
planes to buy smaller aircraft to take their place.
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(Reporting by Mariko Katsumura, Harry Suhartono and David
Fogarty, Editing by Saeed Azhar and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

AIRSHOW-UPDATE 1-M’bishi says MRJ jet should capture 30 pct mkt