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Aerospace & Defense Industries

Air travel rebound has Mitsubishi Heavy betting big on jet engines

Aerospace makers around the world seize on recoveries in domestic travel

Masanori Ushida, CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy's aero engine unit, says jet engines will be the company's focus in the aviation field. (Photo by Mitsuru Obe) 

NAGASAKI, Japan -- Aircraft suppliers are boosting the production of engines and other components for short-haul planes in response to rebounds in some domestic air travel markets, a sign of newfound confidence in post-COVID aviation.

The boom can be seen in Nagasaki, a far-flung corner of Japan, where a new Mitsubishi Heavy Industries factory in March went into full production, churning out engine "combustors" for Airbus's popular A320neo narrow-body jets. Mitsubishi Heavy is planning to spend 10 billion yen ($77 million) to expand the plant's capacity by 50% to 120 combustors a month -- enough for 60 twin-engine planes -- by 2025-2026.

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