Singapore Airshow 2018: Honda Aircraft announces largest single order to date of 16 Hondajets

Patrick Hersent, chief executive of Wijet, and Mr Michimasa Fujino, chief executive of Hondajet during the signing of a 16-aircraft deal.
Patrick Hersent, chief executive of Wijet, and Mr Michimasa Fujino, chief executive of Hondajet during the signing of a 16-aircraft deal. ST PHOTO: ADRIAN LIM
Hondajet’s HA-420, a light business jet, in a hangar at the Jet Aviation Centre in Seletar.
Hondajet’s HA-420, a light business jet, in a hangar at the Jet Aviation Centre in Seletar.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Honda Aircraft, which delivered its first light business jet in late 2015, has announced its single largest order to date - 16 Hondajets for European air taxi company Wijet.

The deal is estimated to be worth close to US$80 million (S$105.6 million), a milestone for the relative newcomer to the business jet market.

Wijet said the 16 five-passenger HA-420 will replace its current fleet of 15 Cessna aircraft over the next 18 months.

The deal was signed on Thursday (Feb 8) by Wijet chief executive Patrick Hersent and Honda Aircraft chief executive Michimasa Fujino at the Jet Aviation Centre in Seletar, on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow 2018.

Honda Aircraft, a wholly owned subsidiary of automobile giant Honda Motor, took about three decades to develop the Hondajet.  

Mr Hersent said: "The range of the Hondajet is longer, it's more silent and more fuel efficient. Our customers are mainly corporate customers and high-net worth customers and they are looking for the latest generation of jet."

He said Wijet, which is an on-demand air taxi service, now serves about 1,200 airports across Europe. With the Hondajet, this will expand to 1,500 airports, from the Nordic to Baltic countries and to Northern Africa, he added.

Mr Fujino called the deal a "huge step" for the company. "We have had multiple orders before but this is a large fleet upgrade... the largest from one operator," he added.

Mr Fujino declined to reveal the exact value of the deal but said that the HA-420 has a list price of  US$4.9 million.