J-Air (XM, Hiroshima Int'l) is considering its future fleet options amid reports the carrier's parent, JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda), has already outlined plans to retire the carrier's ageing fleet of nine CRJ-200s.

The Japan Times reports local manufacturer, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (Tokyo Haneda), has already pitched its MRJ90 to JAL in the hope it can secure a contract akin to that of local rival, ANA - All Nippon Airways (NH, Tokyo Haneda), which has 15 firm orders and ten options for the regional jet.

"We do hope that JAL would use (our aircraft)," said Toshihiro Kawachi, vice president and general manager of sales and marketing at Mitsubishi Aircraft.

However, JAL Chairman Masaru Onishi said buying the MRJ90 would only make financial sense should JAL Group decide to entirely phase out J-Air's fleet of CRJ-200s and fifteen EMB-170s. JAL practises fleet homogeneity in order to curb operating and maintenance costs.

"Introducing the MRJ would have strong merit if we entirely replace the current E170s and CRJ-200s to build a uniform fleet," Onishi said.

With the aircraft's maiden flight scheduled for next year and its entry-into-service scheduled for 2017, the MRJ90 has thus far attracted 165 firm orders and 160 options from firms such as ANI Group Holdings, Skywest Airlines (USA) (OO, Salt Lake City), and Trans States Holdings, the parent firm of Compass Airlines (USA) (CP, Washington Dulles), GoJet Airlines (G7, St. Louis Lambert Int'l) and Trans States Airlines (AX, St. Louis Lambert Int'l).