Mitsubishi client cancels SpaceJet order

Mitsubishi Aircraft says its plans to launch Japan's first domestically produced passenger jet have been dealt a new blow. The firm says one of its customers in the US has canceled an order for up to 20 SpaceJets.

Aerolease Aviation ordered 10 of the jets back in 2016, with an option to buy 10 more. But the company cancelled the order at the end of December after Mitsubishi put the brakes on the plane's development.

Mistubishi has been working on the aircraft since 2008.

The first planes were supposed to reach customers in 2013. But the project ran into mechanical and logistical problems, and froze the development in October.

It also slashed the annual budget for the program by 90 percent.

Parent company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has spent about 9.6 billion dollars on the SpaceJet program.

It still has orders for 287 planes, but analysts say Aerolease Aviation's decision could spur other clients to follow suit.