Trans States Holdings (TSH), the parent firm of US production carriers Trans States Airlines, Compass Airlines (United States of America), and GoJet Airlines, has cancelled an October 2009 order with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation for fifty SpaceJet M90s (previously the M90) with options for fifty more.

The Japanese manufacturer said in a statement that TSH had taken the decision given the 90+ seater regional jets do not meet US scope clause restrictions that limit the size of aircraft that can be flown on regional routes. However, Mitsubishi said future discussions with TSH will focus on the scope-compliant SpaceJet M100 (previously the MRJ70).

On rebranding the MRJ this year, Mitsubishi said the still tentative SpaceJet M100 would be a clean-sheet design tailor-made to the US market featuring 65-76 seats in a three-class cabin configuration.

“TSH has been a long-time proponent of our aircraft program and we look forward to continuing discussions regarding a potential order for the SpaceJet M100 product,” Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation President Hisakazu Mizutani said.

“When we established our contract with TSH, the outlook on the regional market was very different. The scope clauses have not relaxed as anticipated. We have since shifted our strategy to be responsive to the market realities in the US, in partnership with our airline customers. We are confident that the SpaceJet M100 presents us with a market-leading aircraft for North America.”

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Trans States Airlines operates forty-six E145s for United Airlines under the United Express brand while Compass operates fifty-five E175s for American Airlines (twenty) under the American Eagle brand as well as for Delta Air Lines as Delta Connection (thirty-five). For its part, GoJet operates sixty-three CRJ700s and seven CRJ900s under the Delta Connection (twenty-one CRJ700s and seven -900s) and United Express brand (twenty-eight CRJ-700s). The remaining CRJ700 aircraft are in the process of being reconfigured to operate as CRJ550s for United Express.

Concerning US appetite for the SpaceJet, in June this year, an unspecified North American carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for fifteen firm M100s while in September, Mesa Airlines (YV, Phoenix Sky Harbor) signed an MOU for fifty firm and fifty optioned M100s.

Owing to development delays, the M90, which is still undergoing type certification, is only due to enter revenue service in late 2020/early 2021.