Japan Airlines to buy first Japanese-made planes in 40 years

Japan Airlines (JAL), the country's second-largest airline, plans to purchase the first Japanes-made planes in 40 years.

The planes made by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation will be used by JAL for its domestic services.

JAL has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp  to order 32 Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft, as the next-generation regional jet for the JAL Group.

JAL plans to deploy the MRJ on domestic routes from 2021, operated by J-AIR, the group's 100-per cent owned regional airline subsidiary.

JAL plans to operate the MRJ as the core aircraft on its regional routes.

Mitsubishi Regional Jets (MRJ) are the first Japanese-built commercial passenger planes in 40 years.

The aircraft are valued at a total of about 150 billion ($1.4 billion), the Kyodo News agency reported, citing JAL sources.

Equipped with newly-developed geared turbofan engine, the MRJ will achieve significantly lower operating costs than current regional jets, according to Mitsubshi Aircraft Corp.

Mitsubishi Regional Jet is a family of 70-90-seat next-generation aircraft featuring the Pratt & Whitney's PurePower engine and state-of-the-art aerodynamics to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent, besides reducing noise, and emissions, while offering top-class operational benefits.

It also features a cabin designed for heightened passenger flying comfort, and large overhead bins, the company said.

Mitsubishi Aircraft has made steady progress on the development of the MRJ and the first passenger jet is scheduled for delivery in 2017.