Mitsubishi announces aircraft design centre in Montreal for SpaceJet series

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Hitoshi "Hank" Iwasa, President of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, left, and Quebec Premier Francois Legault shake hands in a mockup of a Spacejet plane Thursday, September 19, 2019 in Montreal. Mitsubishi Aircraft is creating up to 250 jobs to help in the production of its next-generation Spacejet plane, set be launched in 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL — The Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. is putting down roots in Quebec, unveiling plans for a new product development centre in the Montreal area after reaching a deal in June to buy Bombardier Inc.’s regional jet program.

The office will be part of the company’s push to get a single-aisle airliner off the ground in 2020 as it doubles down on regional jets. It plans to hire 100 engineers and certification specialists in Montreal within a year to assist the point team in Washington state.

Premier Francois Legault says the Quebec government will lend Mitsubishi $12 million, which will be forgiven if the Japanese firm provides high-paid employment for 250 workers over five years.

Alex Bellamy, the company’s chief development officer, says the loan helped Mitsubishi to settle quickly on the Montreal area, which has a rich cluster of aeronautics firms, after idea was first floated at the Paris Air Show in July.

Bellamy says Mitsubishi Aircraft, owned by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., aims to seize on the region’s technical expertise to develop the SpaceJet program, which has seen setbacks since 2013, when the first model was initially scheduled for delivery.

That 88-seat M90 plane, which will have no middle seats, is now expected to enter into service next year, to be followed in 2023 by the 76-seat M100.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2019

Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)

The Canadian Press

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