Mystery airline in talks to buy Mitsubishi SpaceJet to serve US regional market

Key Points
  • The aviation firm revealed at the Paris Air Show this week that the narrow-body M100 should be ready for market in 2023.
  • In a press release Wednesday, the firm said that deliveries to a prospective buyer should occur a year later.
A SpaceJet regional jet, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., sits on display during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, in Paris, France, on Monday, June 17, 2019. The show is the world's largest aviation and space industry exhibition and runs from June 17-23
Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Japanese planemaker Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation announced it's in discussions with an unnamed U.S. airline over the sale of its SpaceJet M100 aircraft.

The aviation firm revealed at the Paris Air Show this week that the narrow-body M100 should be ready for market in 2023. In a press release Wednesday, the firm said that deliveries to a prospective buyer should occur a year later.

Alex Bellamy, the chief development officer at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, told CNBC Wednesday that the deal with the unnamed interest was looking at an initial purchase of 15 aircraft.

"They came to the show this week and are one of many customers we have been talking with for the last month or so," he said.

Mitsubishi is targeting U.S. skies with its plane as it sees a lot of aircraft nearing the end of their lives. Bellamy said he believed the U.S. regional market was being poorly served and the flight experience was "not as nice as it should be."

Mitsubishi claim its plane will be the tallest and widest regional jet in its class and will hold the largest overhead bins. The SpaceJet family includes the SpaceJet M90 and the SpaceJet M100 models.

The M90, which is the slightly larger plane, is currently in the certification process. The first customer, ANA Holdings, is now expecting delivery next year.