Saab may handle Mitsubishi jet repair

Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said on Thursday that it may outsource maintenance of its regional passenger jet to Swedish aviation group Saab if it goes ahead with the project.

“We are currently considering various options while moving toward a business alliance with Saab on maintenance and repairs,” said a Mitsubishi spokeswoman.

She said that Saab may handle the maintenance work in Europe, the United States and beyond.

The Yomiuri newspaper reported Thursday that Mitsubishi was aiming to reach a final agreement with Saab as soon as next month.

The Japanese group is expected to announce in the next few days whether it is pushing ahead towards a commercial launch of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, which it says would be the quietest, lightest and most fuel-efficient model in its class.

It says that if airlines show enough interest, the jet could enter commercial service by 2013.

It would be the first commercial passenger aircraft in four decades — and the first jet airplane — to be developed in Japan.

The plane would have 70 to 90 seats and be equipped with the new energy-saving “geared turbofan” engine designed by US-based Pratt & Whitney.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways has said it is considering buying the new plane if it is built, and Japan Airlines is reported to have shown interest.

But Dubai-based airline Emirates has denied a report that it was planning to buy the jet.


Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.