(Reuters) - Japan’s Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp has postponed delivery of the SpaceJet regional plane for a sixth time to late 2021 or 2022, according to a Nikkei report, pushing back the target from mid-2020.
It represents another setback to Japan’s ambitions of reviving its commercial jet industry, which has been dormant for 50 years.
In November, the chief executive of the programme’s largest shareholder, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, told Reuters the company was rethinking the timetable for the SpaceJet and could no longer commit to mid-2020.
A Nikkei report on Saturday said the new delivery target was unveiled at an internal meeting on Friday and was expected to be announced publicly as early as Feb. 6.
Mitsubishi Aircraft did not respond immediately to a request for comment. It had originally hoped for the jet to enter service in 2013.
ANA Holdings Inc, Japan’s largest airline by revenue, is due to be the first customer for the plane.
The SpaceJet is poised to compete against the latest generation of regional jets from Brazil’s Embraer SA. Embraer has agreed to sell the bulk of its commercial jet business to Boeing Co in a deal that still needs final regulatory approvals.
Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Sandra Maler