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Wednesday, 11th November 2015
In Japan Travel News,

Mitsubishi takes Japan's first ever passenger jet to the skies

History has been made in Japan today (November 11th), as the first ever domestic passenger jet made a successful test flight.

The event is the culmination of more than ten years of development in a programme that is hoped to rival the likes of Brazil and Canada for the smaller aircraft market.

Nagoya Airport in Aichi Prefecture was the scene of take-off for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), which has been created by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The sky was clear over central Japan as the two-engine aircraft, measuring just 35 metres in length, made its inaugural flight.

After the second world war, the US banned Japanese firms from developing aircraft while the country was occupied by the foreign power.

Japan hasn’t brought a new commercial airliner into service since 1962 when it debuted the YS-11 turboprop, which was used for just a decade.

Around 80 passengers can be accommodated on board the new MRJ and it is likely to be a popular choice when it is fully rolled out.

It is ANA Holdings, the biggest carrier in Japan, that will take receipt of the first MRJ, with delivery scheduled for 2017.

Japan Airlines has also placed an order for 223 of the aircraft, but to fulfil the 2,000 MRJs Mitsubishi wants to sell it will have to look outside of its home country.

This is already starting to happen, with the biggest request so far coming from US regional airline operator Trans State Holdings.

The fuel-efficient next generation aircraft is expected to fill a niche in the regional jet sector, which is performing well at present.

It will offer customers enhanced comfort on board and the lower operating costs also make it appealing.

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