Trans States drops order for largest Mitsubishi SpaceJet

Oct 31, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Regional operator Trans States has cancelled its commitment for the Mitsubishi Aircraft SpaceJet M90, a not-unexpected move as the aircraft remains barred from operating in the feeder fleets of U.S. majors.

St. Louis-based Trans States — whose subsidiaries operate regional flights for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines (only through the middle of 2020) and United Airlines — ended its nearly decade-old order for 50 firm SpaceJet M90s plus 50 options, Mitsubishi said Thursday. The airframer added that discussions continue with the regional airline over a possible future order for the smaller M100.

“When we established our contract with [Trans States], the outlook on the regional market was very different,” Hisakazu Mizutani, president of Mitsubishi Aircraft, said in a statement. “Scope clause has not relaxed as anticipated.”

The M90 was known as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet MRJ90 until June, when the program was rebranded under the SpaceJet name.

Related: Mitsubishi rebrands Its regional jet Line

Mizutani referred to the limits on the size and weight of aircraft that regional affiliates can operate for major carriers outlined in the latters’ respective pilot contracts, also known as scope clauses. The contracts at American, Delta and United all limit regional aircraft to no more than 76 seats and a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 86,000lbs.

The M90 seats 88 passengers in a single-class configuration, and has a MTOW of 94,358lbs, according to Mitsubishi.

“Most customers tell us they see limited changes in scope clauses” coming in the next five years, Mitsubishi Aircraft chief development officer Alex Bellamy said at the Regional Airlines Association (RAA) annual convention in September.

Mitsubishi has responded to this lack of change on U.S. regional jet restrictions by launching a scope-compliant model, the SpaceJet M100. The aircraft can carry 76 passengers in a three-class layout with first class, extra-legroom economy and economy seats, and has a MTOW of 86,000lbs.

The name “SpaceJet,” while possibly eliciting images of outer space travel more akin to Virgin Galactic, is actually a marketing tool to emphasize the space in the passenger cabin.

Related: Touring Mitsubishi’s Extra-Roomy SpaceJet M100

To date, Mitsubishi has landed 115 commitments for the M100, including a 100 aircraft deal from American and United feeder Mesa Airlines. The remaining 15 are from an unnamed customer.

The M100 is expected to make its first flight in late 2021 or early 2022, with the first delivery scheduled for 2023. Mesa is due to take its first aircraft in 2024.

Trans States was not immediately available to comment on its decision to cancel the SpaceJet order.

Featured image by Zach Honig/TPG.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.