REFILE-UPDATE 1-Test flight delay puts pressure on Japan's regional jet plan
(Corrects dateline to NAGOYA, Japan, from TOKYO)
* Mitsubishi Aircraft says test flight delayed, now before end-Oct
* Says ANA delivery on schedule, in June 2017
* Delay not due to any major unexpected problem - executive
By Tim Kelly
NAGOYA, Japan, April 10 (Reuters) - Mitsubishi Aircraft said on Friday it will delay the maiden test flight of Japan's first commercial jet in half a century, squeezing further an already tight schedule to begin deliveries in two years.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) will make its first flight by the end of October, the company said in a presentation. The Japanese company had planned to conduct the MRJ's maiden flight before the end of June. ANA Holdings, it said, is still slated to get the first MRJ in June 2017, three years later than initially planned.
"We are still planning to deliver to ANA in the second quarter of 2017, so we don't see the delayed test flight as having any serious impact," Hiromichi Morimoto, president of Mitsubishi Aircraft, said at a press briefing in Nagoya in central Japan, close to the MRJ's assembly plant.
Mitsubishi Aircraft did not specify the reason for the delay. It was "not the result of any major unexpected problem", said the company's vice president, Nobuo Kishi. Continued...