ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Business

ANA to lease Boeing planes while awaiting late Mitsubishi jet

Delivery of MRJ is now pushed back to mid-2020

ANA Holdings will lease more Boeing 737-800s as it awaits the delay-plagued Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

TOKYO -- Japan's ANA Holdings will order Boeing aircraft to substitute for the long-delayed Mitsubishi Regional Jet on domestic routes serving smaller cities.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries arm Mitsubishi Aircraft has been developing the MRJ since 2008, and initially planned to deliver the first plane to ANA in the second half of 2013. The All Nippon Airways parent had high hopes for the MRJ's fuel efficiency. But the jet has faced numerous setbacks, and ANA was forced to seek alternatives in the meantime.

To fill its place, ANA will lease four Boeing 737-800 jets, which seat around 160. The planes have a catalog price of $98.1 million, with an annual leasing fee estimated at over $4 million. The airline operator will swap the planes in for the 120-seat Boeing 737-500s it currently flies to smaller cities from airports including those in and around Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

With its passenger jets aging, ANA could not afford to wait for the MRJ to update its fleet. It already flies over 30 Boeing 737-800s. But those jets seat more passengers than the MRJ does, raising the risk of unsold seats. Wary of the potential hit, ANA will look to pick up demand from foreigners visiting Japan, as well as in other areas.

ANA last summer ordered three propeller-powered planes from Canada's Bombardier to address the delay. But in January Mitsubishi Aircraft further postponed the MRJ's delivery, pushing it back from mid-2018 to mid-2020, sending ANA scrambling for more substitutes. The airline operator may ask Mitsubishi Aircraft to cover some of the burden from the delay.

Japan's domestic flyer count rose 0.9% in fiscal 2015 to 96.06 million people, according to the transport ministry. But ridership declined 0.9% to 54.55 million on the smaller-market routes where ANA plans to deploy the MRJ.

(Nikkei)

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more