Swift Air (United States of America) (Greensboro Piedmont Triad International) is likely to cancel an order for up to forty M90s placed by Eastern Air Lines (2009) (Miami International), the Floridian passenger charter specialist it acquired earlier this year, the Nikkei Asian Review has reported citing sources close to developments.

"Maintaining the orders will be difficult," an insider at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (Nagoya Chubu) told the Japanese newswire.

Eastern Air Lines ordered twenty of the Japanese-manufacturer regional jets with a further twenty options in 2014. Following its takeover earlier this year, Eastern's new parent, Swift Air, has elected to focus on expanding its Boeing-denominated fleet from the current fourteen B737s to eighteen.

Sources said that continued delays in the roll-out of the MRJ-90 programme have made it more difficult for Mitsubishi to convince Swift Air to retain the order. The newswire also stressed that in the current low-fuel price environment, airlines are more concerned with high roll-out costs than the fuel savings the MRJ-90 could deliver.

ANA - All Nippon Airways, the MRJ-90's launch customer, was originally scheduled to take delivery of the first aircraft of the type back in 2013. However, a myriad of technical and design setbacks have delayed that date to 2020.

The cancellation of the Swift Air order would be a major blow to Mitsubishi as it concerns nearly 10% of the MRJ-90's entire order backlog which currently totals 447 aircraft. However, of those 447, only 243 are firm. The largest customer of the type is SkyWest Airlines (OO, Salt Lake City) with 100 firm orders and 100 options.