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Mitsubishi Heavy fights to keep commercial jet project on track

Delivery snags and canceled orders darken outlook for manufacturer

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet has missed five delivery dates. Mitsubishi Aircraft now hopes to put it into commercial service by 2020.

TOKYO -- After repeatedly missing promised delivery dates, Mitsubishi Aircraft lost an order for 40 Mitsubishi Regional Jets from U.S. carrier Eastern Air Lines in January. Since then, other customers have said nothing, but the situation looks grim for the Japanese company.

The plane maker, a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has to clear a number of hurdles if it is to hold on to orders for more than 400 aircraft, including additional purchase options.  

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