Honda expands HondaJet sales to Europe

European sales of Honda Aircraft Co.'s HondaJet will begin in May at the EBACE conference in Geneva.

Honda Aircraft Company, Inc. (Greensboro, N.C.) announced plans on April 17 to expand sales of HondaJet has announced that it will expand sales to Europe, beginning in May at the annual EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition) conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The sales expansion comes as Honda Aircraft Co. finalized its U.S. distribution network with the selection of Albany, N.Y., as the final location among its five sales and service facilities being established across the country.

Honda’s decision to expand sales of its advanced light jet to the rapidly growing European market is in response to strong demand for the aircraft from customers throughout the region. Offering class-leading performance, fuel efficiency, interior cabin space and cargo capacity, HondaJet is well suited to meet the needs of European business and personal light jet owners and operators.

“We are excited to initiate sales in Europe, where we have received a steady stream of inquiries from interested customers who will now have the opportunity to reserve delivery of a HondaJet,” said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company president and CEO. “We are committed to providing our customers with both a class-leading product and a sales and service support system that exceed their expectations for private jet ownership and travel.”

Honda recently expanded HondaJet sales throughout North America, announcing the establishment of a sales and service strategy for Mexico and Canada. “The expansion of HondaJet sales to Europe is an important step in the continued evolution of our business strategy, which seeks to address the extensive worldwide demand for HondaJet,” said Fujino.

Further details regarding the HondaJet European sales and service support strategy and delivery timing will be released by Honda on May 20, 2008, at EBACE.

With the selection of Albany, N.Y., as the location for its HondaJet East sales and service facility, Honda has completed the establishment of a nationwide U.S. sales and service infrastructure for HondaJet. Tallahassee, Fla. (HondaJet Southeast), Aurora, Ill. (HondaJet Midwest), Phoenix, Ariz. (HondaJet Southwest), and Salt Lake City, Utah (HondaJet Northwest) previously have been announced as HondaJet sales and service locations. Honda has established its U.S. sales and service network to provide unparalleled quality and convenience to HondaJet customers, with flight times for all customers to their nearest facility limited to 90 minutes or less.

Construction of all of the U.S. HondaJet sales and service facilities will begin in the near future, and completion is scheduled to coincide with the anticipated certification and first deliveries of HondaJet in 2010.

Honda Aircraft Co. began U.S. sales of the HondaJet in October 2006 and quickly amassed orders for well over 100 units. HondaJet is Honda’s first-ever commercial aircraft and lives up to the company’s reputation for dynamic performance together with superior efficiency, delivering class-topping cruise speed and fuel efficiency, greater luggage capacity and a more spacious cabin with seating for up to eight people, compared to other similarly sized jet aircraft. All major assembly and testing of the prototype HondaJet has been conducted at the company’s existing Greensboro, N.C., facility, which opened in 2001 as an extension of Honda’s global R&D operations. The aircraft has a composite fuselage.

Working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Honda Aircraft Co. anticipates its first test flight of a conforming model in early 2009, with the overall timetable calling for the achievement of type certification in 2010. The company is scheduled to begin deliveries of HondaJet to U.S. customers in 2010. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification is being pursued concurrently with FAA certification.

All HondaJet customer deliveries will take place at Honda Aircraft Company’s new world delivery center, currently under construction along with its new world headquarters, R&D facility, and production plant at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. The world headquarters and R&D facility are scheduled for completion in summer 2008, with the production plant and delivery center scheduled for completion in late 2009.