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March 18 (Reuters) - Japan’s Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp said on Wednesday that it completed the first certification test flight of its SpaceJet, bringing the regional aircraft a step closer to commercial operations.
The delivery of Japan’s first passenger jet in half a century has been pushed back six times as Mitsubishi Aircraft and its chief shareholder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd have contended with a series of design missteps.
The regional jet had been scheduled to go into service with Japanese carrier ANA Holdings in 2013.
“It marks the start of certification flight testing for the first SpaceJet M90 in final, certifiable configuration,” Alex Bellamy, Mitsubishi Aircraft’s Chief Development officer said in a press release.
The plane will not go into service until after March 2022, when it will compete against a new generation of regional jets built by Brazil’s Embraer SA. (Reporting by Tim Kelly; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)