Questions are being asked about SkyWest’s future plans with regards to the ongoing delays being suffered by the Mitsubishi MRJ program and whether those delays may force SkyWest to alter its future fleet plans.
Mitsubishi announced a further delay to the delivery of the first MRJ aircraft to the second quarter of 2017 which would then indicate that SkyWest could not expect its first aircraft to be delivered until sometime in 2018. In 2012 SkyWest ordered 100 Mitsubishi MRJs to the surprise of Bombardier and Embraer. While SkyWest has publicly indicated that it continued to support the MRJ program, it also noted that it expected Mitsubishi to deliver all the airplane as advertised and in a timely manner. SkyWest did not indicate if it was considering modifying its agreement with Mitsubishi, or whether the carrier was speaking to other planemakers.
Previous to the MRJ order, Bombardier had long been SkyWest’s aircraft supplier. In 2012, SkyWest ordered the MRJs and in 2013 agreed to buy 100 of upgraded Embraer 175s with options for 100 further aircraft.