x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Honda plans to increase business jet production

The Japanese car maker aims to boost output of its small private jet to 80 a year by 2019 as it looks the ex[and its share of the business aircraft market.

A HondaJet at Haneda international airport in Tokyo. The Japanese company aims to increase production of the business jet. Eugene Hoshiko / AP
A HondaJet at Haneda international airport in Tokyo. The Japanese company aims to increase production of the business jet. Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Honda Motor expects to increase production of business jets as part of its plan to expand in the growing industry, the head of the Japanese car maker’s aircraft operations said in the United States.

The firm hopes to produce 80 business jets annually by March 2019, from up to 36 currently, Honda Aircraft Company chief executive Michimasa Fujino said at its plant in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“By the end of the 2018 financial year [in March 2019], we’d like to be near full production of around 80 units,” he said.

The company began deliveries of its US$4.5 million jets in December and says it has received around 100 orders so far, mainly from customers in North America and Europe.

Honda is Japan’s first car maker to develop and market aircraft globally. Its luxury jets seat up to seven people and have engines mounted above the wings, enabling roomier cabins, reduced noise and higher fuel efficiency.

The jet competes with similar-sized aircraft produced by Cessna, Bombardier and Embraer.

Honda Aero, which jointly developed the jet’s HF 120 engine with General Electric, currently procures all of its parts from outside suppliers, but the company president Atsukuni Waragai said it would begin producing a number of parts in-house from next March.

* Reuters

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