Shifting Skies: ANA’s SpaceJet Order Grounded as Mitsubishi Cancels Program

June 15th, 2023
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All Nippon Airways (ANA), one of Japan’s leading airlines, recently made a significant decision to cancel its order for the Mitsubishi SpaceJet. This move comes after Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced the cancellation of the SpaceJet program. In this article, we delve into the background of the ANA SpaceJet order, the reasons behind the cancellation, and the implications for both ANA and the aerospace industry.

The ANA SpaceJet Order: A Strategic Move

ANA placed an order for the Mitsubishi SpaceJet in 2010, showing confidence in Mitsubishi’s ambition to compete with other regional aircraft manufacturers. The SpaceJet, designed for short-haul flights, was expected to be a game-changer in the regional aviation market. ANA’s order was a strategic move to expand its fleet and tap into potential opportunities in regional travel, meeting the growing demand for domestic and international connectivity.

Program Cancellation: Reasons and Challenges

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced the cancellation of the SpaceJet program, citing various challenges and setbacks. The program faced significant delays, technical issues, and certification hurdles, leading to increased costs and uncertainties. MHI made the difficult decision to terminate the program to prioritize other business objectives and reallocate resources effectively. This cancellation has far-reaching implications for ANA and the future of regional aircraft manufacturing.

Implications for ANA: Fleet Strategy Adjustments

The cancellation of the SpaceJet order requires ANA to reassess its fleet strategy and explore alternative options. ANA’s decision to cancel the order is driven by the need to streamline its operations, manage costs, and adapt to the changing market dynamics. The airline will likely focus on its existing fleet and explore partnerships or leasing options to fulfill its regional aircraft requirements. ANA’s fleet adjustments will play a crucial role in maintaining its competitive edge and meeting customer demands effectively.

Industry Impact: Setbacks and Lessons

The cancellation of the SpaceJet program has wider implications for the aerospace industry. It serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by new entrants attempting to disrupt the highly competitive aircraft manufacturing market. The cancellation highlights the complexities and risks associated with developing and certifying a new aircraft, underscoring the importance of robust program management, timely execution, and cost control.


Furthermore, the industry can learn valuable lessons from the SpaceJet program cancellation. Manufacturers must strike a delicate balance between innovation, market demand, and financial viability. Stakeholders should foster collaboration and ensure clear communication between manufacturers, airlines, and regulatory bodies to mitigate risks and navigate the intricate process of bringing new aircraft to market successfully.


The cancellation of ANA’s SpaceJet order marks the end of an era for both ANA and the Mitsubishi SpaceJet program. While the decision poses challenges for ANA’s fleet planning, it also presents an opportunity for the airline to reevaluate its strategies and align them with market realities. The aerospace industry, too, must reflect on the lessons learned from this cancellation to foster innovation, manage risks effectively, and bring new aircraft programs to fruition. As ANA adjusts its course, it remains committed to meeting customer expectations, driving operational excellence, and embracing the evolving landscape of aviation.