Honda Aircraft (Pavilion A01) lands at the Dubai Airshow amidst growing global acceptance of its HondaJet Elite, now “the world’s most delivered light jet for the past two years,” company president and CEO Michimasa Fujino reported at last month’s NBAA-BACE in the U.S.
“My goal is to expand business aviation in international markets by introducing light jets with the HondaJet,” Fujino said, noting that 25 percent of customers are first-time buyers. He “expects to see good sales activity” for the jet in the Middle East, as well.
On static display at Al Maktoum International Airport, the HondaJet Elite incorporates innovations including the over-the-wing engine mount configuration, natural laminar flow nose and wing, and composite fuselage. The flight deck features Garmin's G3000 avionics suite and the cabin boasts a full-service galley, private lavatory, and an exclusive Bongiovi speakerless sound system. Certified for single-pilot operation, Honda Aircraft claims the Elite is significantly more fuel-efficient and emits less greenhouse gases than any similarly sized twin-jet.
Transport Canada certified the HondaJet earlier this year, and four deliveries to Canadian customers have followed. Meanwhile, the first delivery to Japan, a country with little business aviation activity, occurred last year, and with the Civil Aviation Authority of China granting certification this August, growing Asian sales are anticipated.
Some 140 HondaJets are now operating worldwide, having logged more than 40,000 flight hours, with 99.7 percent dispatch reliability. To support European growth, Honda, in partnership with FlightSafety International, is building a second flight simulator and training center at the UK’s Farnborough Airport, expected to be operational in April 2020.
Adding to its mission capabilities, Honda introduced at NBAA-BACE the first medevac configuration for the HondaJet Elite, which is entering service with Wing Spirit, a U.S. charter operator based in Hawaii. Wing Spirit has ordered 15 HondaJets. Honda Aircraft is showcasing the medevac interior in a mock-up at its pavilion at the Dubai Airshow.
At its Greensboro, North Carolina, headquarters facility in the U.S., Honda Aircraft is building a new wing production facility, which at a cost of $15.5 million brings the company’s total investment in the U.S. to more the $245 million, according to Fujino.