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A new delay in the launch of Mitsubishi’s SpaceJet M90 regional jet will have no impact on the company’s engineering centre in Boisbriand, north of Montreal, which opened last fall and currently employs 46 workers.
The original launch for the M90 regional jet was supposed to be in 2013, but has been pushed out to 2021 or 2022 according to Japanese daily Nikkei. It’s the sixth delay for the aircraft, Mitsubishi’s first in the regional jet sector.
Jean-David Scott, vice-president of the SpaceJet Montreal Centre in Boisbriand said the delay would have no impact on the schedule of engineers he is currently recruiting. In fact, he expects employment to double by September and increase to 300 workers by December 2021.
Mitsubishi already has a design centre in Seattle, but decided to open another one in Montreal to take advantage of the local expertise, explained Scott. He noted that the company isn’t yet an established player in aircraft design, whereas the people he is recruiting are.
“We have over 3,000 CVs on file and Boisbriand is part of an aerospace cluster and an attractive area to attract talent. In fact, several Japanese personnel will be coming here in April.”
The timing could hardly have been better for the company and local aerospace experts, as Bombardier has recently announced the layoff engineers due to the end of the major development programs for the C Series (A220) and Global 7500.
About three quarters of staff at Boisbriand are engineers, while other employees will be responsible for maintaining the company’s relationships with its suppliers in Canada and the Northeastern United States.
In addition to the M90, Mitsubishi is working on two other versions of its regional aircraft, namely the M100 and M200, and the Boisbriand design centre is expected to work on all three models. This could lead to other work, according to Scott.
“Montreal is now part of the expansion strategy of head office. We are part of the discussion,” he added.