WASHINGTON — Mitsubishi Aircraft projects airlines will want more than 5,000 regional jets over the next 20 years, and the manufacturer wants a piece of that market.
Regional jets already carry half of U.S. airline passengers, funneling travelers from smaller communities to larger cities or connecting flights. Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer have dominated the market for regional jets with 100 seats or less.
But as demand grows, Mitsubishi is promoting its next plane, the MRJ100X, for fuel efficiency from quieter engines and passenger comfort. The 18-inch seats will be as wide as Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner configured with eight seats in a row.