Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will cut hundreds of jobs in Washington state as it “consolidates all activities back to Japan” and close its U.S. operations for the troubled SpaceJet project, the company said Friday.
“Due to the budget directives, Mitsubishi Aircraft will close its overseas locations and consolidate activities at its headquarters in Nagoya, Japan,” company spokesman Jeff Dronen said via email. “This will impact the majority of our employees in the United States.”
The Mitsubishi Aircraft U.S. headquarters in Renton will close, and flight test operations in Moses Lake will cease, he said.
The four test aircraft that have been flying in Moses Lake will be put into storage, and the fifth flight test plane — the first updated with a new configuration — will not fly to the U.S. as planned just a month ago, but will stay in Japan.
The news comes after the Japanese industrial giant announced last week an overall loss of $275 million for the fiscal year ending in March — a cash drain that management deemed no longer acceptable as it faces the dramatic pandemic-driven downturn affecting all of Mitsubishi’s aviation operations, including its supply of major parts for Boeing jets.