According to The Asahi Shimbun, Honda Aircraft Co. shipped 24 HondaJet planes in the first half of 2017, up 2.4-fold year on year, making the model the world leader in the category of light jets.
The company of the Honda Motor Co. group cited an improved production system for the increase in shipments, adding that orders have risen and customers have praised the aircraft’s fuel-efficiency, spacious interior and other features.
Light jets weigh 5.7 tons or less.
The HondaJet can accommodate up to seven people and is characterized by having engines above the main wings.
Honda Aircraft spent about three decades developing the jet, which is priced at $US 4.9 million (530 million yen) per unit.
Before deliveries started in December 2015, Honda Aircraft had received orders for more than 100 HondaJets. But the company was initially producing only one or two units a month.
Improved worker skills and other factors have pushed up production to four light jets a month, Honda Aircraft said. The enhanced production capacity helped HondaJet overtake the models of rival manufacturers, such as Cessna Aircraft Co. of the United States and Embraer SA of Brazil.
Honda Aircraft’s sales efforts so far have focused mainly on Europe, North America and South America. The company started pitching the jet in Southeast Asia in May and plans to eventually take orders in China.
Honda Aircraft also plans to increase annual HondaJet production from the current 50 units to about 80, roughly corresponding to manufacturing at full capacity.
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