TOKYO, JAPAN — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is reportedly on the brink of ending its SpaceJet regional aircraft program, which was temporarily suspended last year.

According to sources cited in Japanese media reports, MHI management is preparing to terminate the program, thereby quashing Japan’s hopes of becoming a global commercial aircraft manufacturer.

MHI has not yet made any official statement about the issue.

“Today, there were several media reports claiming that MHI has decided to discontinue SpaceJet Project development,” says MHI.

“These stories are not based on any announcement by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries or Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, an MHI Group company. While it is true that MHI is considering a variety of possibilities regarding this matter, we will release any information requiring disclosure promptly in the event that any decision has been made.”

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is set to announce its financial results for the third quarter of 2022, and rumors suggest that the company will announce the termination of its SpaceJet program. The SpaceJet, formerly known as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, had been seen as a beacon of hope for MHI in the early 2010s, but it had suffered numerous delays and order cancellations over the years.

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) was set for delivery to its launch customer, All Nippon Airways, in the first quarter of 2014. With several major US regional airlines signing on to the program, hopes were high for a successful launch.

Unfortunately, repeatedly delayed certification and technical issues kept the MRJ from being delivered until 2020 when the program was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.