Mesa Airlines (YV, Phoenix Sky Harbor) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAJ, Nagoya Chubu) to launch formal negotiations for the purchase of up to 100 SpaceJet M100s, formerly known as MRJ70.

The Japanese manufacturer announced in a press release that the negotiations will target a firm order for 50 jets and options for another 50. If the deal is confirmed, deliveries will begin in 2024.

"The US mainline carriers are looking for an aircraft that will allow them to provide a consistent, premium passenger experience from their regional to their long-haul fleets. With its large cabin, comfort, new technology, and low operating costs, the Mitsubishi SpaceJet M100 can deliver this premium experience within the US scope clause," Mesa Air Group Chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein said.

Mesa Airlines is the world's first carrier to publicly disclose its interest in the M100. The aircraft will seat up to 76 passengers and will fit within the US scope clauses, restricting the size of aircraft that can be outsourced by mainline carriers to regional production airlines.

During the 2019 Paris Air Show, Mitsubishi announced an MoU with a different unnamed North American carrier for fifteen M100s.

The manufacturer has no firm orders for the M100s. As of the end of 2018, it had 213 firm orders for the larger M90, formerly the M90, including for 100 units from Mesa Airlines' rival SkyWest Airlines (United States of America) (OO, Salt Lake City). The M90 is scheduled to enter into service in 2020 with ANA Wings (EH, Sapporo Chitose).

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Mesa Airlines currently operates one CRJ200ER, twenty CRJ700ERs, fifty-three CRJ900ERs, eleven -LRs, and sixty E175s. The carrier operates regional services on behalf of American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) and United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare).

Editorial Comment: Added clarification that the 2019 Paris Air Show MOU by Mitsubishi was signed with a different undisclosed customer. - 09.09.2019 - 11:41 UTC