Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is conducting market research to evaluate the feasibility of a longer stretch of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), the company’s President Hiromichi Morimoto told Aviation Week at the Paris air show.

“We want to make a decision in the near future, but there is no timeline,” he said. “We have heard about some customer expectations for a 100-seater,” Morimoto said, so the current focus is on completing development of the MRJ90 and MRJ70, the 70- and 90-seat versions of the aircraft.

Mitsubishi is preparing the first MRJ90 for its first flight, which is still expected in the “September/October timeframe.” The aircraft underwent high power runs of the PW1200G engine that went up to 60% of maximum thrust recently. Last week, low speed taxi tests were performed. They are to be followed by medium speed tests in August and finally high speed runs in September just before first flight. “Everything is going smooth,” Morimoto said.

The company recently had to address an issue in the avionics software, but that has now been resolved. Also, the ram air turbine’s rigidity needed to be strengthened and that work has been completed, too.

Following several substantial delays, Mitsubishi plans to deliver the first aircraft in the second quarter of 2017 to All Nippon Airways. The aircraft was originally planned to be handed over in 2013.

Morimoto says he is not concerned about the competitive situation in the large regional jet market. “Initially it was a duopoly between Bombardier and Embraer. We were the newcomer so we can’t complain about too much competition,” he said.” With Bombardier “shifting focus” to larger aircraft, “we don’t think there is a lot of overlap.” Discounting the CRJ family, Morimoto said Mitsubishi has come to “fill that gap” to create a global duopoly between Embraer and itself.

The Mitsubishi Aircraft President conceded that scope clauses applying for the U.S. regional airline industry are “a heavy restriction.” Therefore the smaller MRJ70 may be better suited for the U.S. market, whereas the larger MRJ90 should be favored in other markets such as Europe and Asia.