NBAA: HondaJet eyes production hike as China beckons

After hitting a production rate for the HondaJet of four a month only a year after entering service, Honda Aircraft is looking at ways to increase production by 25% as launches a sales campaign in China.

The Greensboro, North Carolina-based manufacturer ramped up to four HondaJet deliveries a month last January, enabling the company to deliver 24 of the 422kt-capable light jets up to 1 July.

The HondaJet entered service in December 2015.

Now, Honda Aircraft executives are considering how to ramp up production to five per month, chief executive Michimasa Fujino tells Flight Daily News.

The goal is to achieve a rate of five deliveries per month while holding assembly labour costs steady by reducing the number of hours it takes to build the aircraft, he says.

Honda Aircraft does not disclose how many orders are in the company’s sales backlog, but Fujino says the company is trying to sell one to 1.5 aircraft for every HondaJet that gets delivered.

As the company looks to boost production, Honda Aircraft has launched plans to enter the Chinese market. The company appointed Guangzhou-based Honsan General Aviation as the HondaJet sales dealer for China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The appointment followed the company’s application for a type certification from China’s civil aviation authority in August. An approval by the CAAC is expected within 18 months of the application date, Fujino says.