US regional carrier, Mesa Airlines, has signed an agreement with Mitsubishi for up to 100 SpaceJet M100s.

The memorandum of understanding was announced during a signing ceremony, held at Regional Airline Association’s annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Targeting 50 firm orders with an additional 50 purchase rights, the deal is a major milestone for Mitsubishi in terms of product confidence.

Mitsubishi notes that, once finalised, the deal should see deliveries of the Pratt and Whitney Geared Turbofan powered aircraft commence in 2024.

The aircraft was formerly known as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) 90, however as part of the re-branding to SpaceJet M90, announced at the 2019 Paris Airshow, a larger variant, the SpaceJet M100 was also announced.

Mesa Airlines Signs for up to 100 Mitsubishi SpaceJet M100s
Mitsubishi Regional Jet (former branding)

Development of the smaller MRJ70, now known as the SpaceJet M70, was terminated in favour of the M90 and M100 programs.

Holding up to 76 seats in a comfortable and competitive layout, the aircraft is tailored for US airlines looking to upgrade or expand their regional fleet of aircraft.

For more details on the SpaceJet M100, see the following article published at the launch announcement:

“The U.S. mainline carriers are looking for an aircraft that will allow them to provide a consistent, premium passenger experience from their regional to their long-haul fleets. With its large cabin, comfort, new technology and low operating costs, the Mitsubishi SpaceJet M100 can deliver this premium experience within U.S. scope clause.”

Jonathan Ornstein, Chairman and CEO, Mesa Air Group, Inc

After recently acquiring the Bombardier CRJ program, Mitsubishi will now benefit from greater supplier relationships and industrial resources; this will further benefit the company in terms of aircraft development.

Enhanced talks about the Mesa Airlines deal are expected to be launched shortly, which could potentially see this agreement finalised.