Boeing and Airbus are both the undisputed kings of commercial aviation but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to face any competition. China recently rolled out its own commercial jet, and while that won’t take to the skies for at least a couple of years, Japan’s first commercial jet has made its maiden flight today. The jet has been made by Mitsubishi, a company you might be familiar with, since it makes just about everything from cars to air conditioners and now even planes.
The aircraft, Mitsubishi MRJ, is the first commercial jetliner from Japan and while it won’t do much to challenge jumbo jets it will battle against regional aircraft such as the new C Series from Bombardier and the Embraer 170.
Mitsubishi MRJ seeks to tap the lucrative industry that is regional air travel, that’s small planes on short routes, usually to small cities. That’s what it will tap, a market that’s currently served by a number of planes such as the Embraer 170 that’s commonly used on short haul flights in the U.S. as well.
The company will provide the jet in two models initially with seating capacity between 76 to 88 passengers in a normal configuration. You may not have to go all the way to Japan just to get a ride in the MRJ, it’s expected that quite a few regional airlines in the country will pick up the Mitsubishi MRJ, with deliveries starting in two years.