Start-up company FlyHonda has launched Europe’s first private shared-ownership programme, targeted at pilots looking to fly a HondaJet without taking on the full acquisition cost.
The company, based on the Isle of Man, took delivery of the first US N-registered light business jet in 2016 and recently began services with three share-owners.
“We are really excited by the level of interest,” says FlyHonda. “There are many pilots who are keen to fly this new jet, but simply cannot afford the $4-5 million price tag. Our programme will lower the barrier to ownership significantly.”
FlyHonda has four more HondaJets on order. The next aircraft is scheduled for delivery in August, with two more following in November, and the final example in the first quarter of 2018. The fleet will be placed on the Isle of Man M-registry.
The company’s business plan is based on a model of 25% ownership – a share of what FlyHonda describes as “a well-equipped $5.7 million aircraft”. FlyHonda will also maintain a share in each aircraft, and will manage it on behalf of the owners.
Shareholders are allocated a set number of hours in the six-seat twin, and divide the aircraft’s running costs – including, fuel, handling, insurance, and maintenance – between them. “Although the owner is qualified to fly the aircraft, we will always supply a pilot/instructor to give that added level of safety,” says FlyHonda.
“This programme completely removes the hassle of aircraft ownership,” it adds. “All the shareholder has to do is turn up and turn left when they enter the HondaJet.”
Since securing European certification for the 1,220nm (2,260km)-range aircraft in May 2016, Honda has delivered four examples into the region from an overall shipment total of around 60 units.
The Greensboro, North Carolina-headquartered airframer is now preparing to begin deliveries to Canadian customers, following Transport Canada validation for the HondaJet on 1 June. Local local business aviation services company Skyservice has been appointed to support the aircraft in the country, where Honda says it has “multiple orders in the pipeline”.