GREENSBORO, N.C., U.S.A., March 3, 2008– Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., announced the expansion of sales of its advanced light jet HondaJet throughout North America with the selection of a retail sales and service representative for Mexico and a direct sales and U.S. service support plan for Canada. Honda Aircraft Company also announced its first fractional booking from Mexico with an order for 10 aircraft.
HondaJet retail sales and service for Mexico will be provided by Servicios Aéreos Estrella, S.A. de C.V. (SAE), one of the country's top full-service Fixed Base Operators (FBO), located at Mexico City's Toluca International Airport (TLC). SAE will establish a new HondaJet sales and service facility at TLC for the nationwide retail sales and service operations for the HondaJet. SAE will begin taking customer orders immediately with first deliveries of the HondaJet expected in Mexico in 2012.
"This is an important step to have our business plan in place in Mexico and Canada," said Honda Aircraft Company president and CEO Michimasa Fujino. "With its long-standing commitment to excellence in all its FBO operations, SAE offers HondaJet customers in Mexico the ultimate in sales and service support. We are confident that we have established the basis for exceptional customer support at a strategic location that will provide our customers with unparalleled quality and convenience."
"It is an honor to represent HondaJet in Mexico," said Juan Gonzalez, SAE president. "Honda is famous in Mexico as a technological leader in advanced mobility products, and the HondaJet represents the cutting-edge in light jet aviation. We believe the HondaJet will offer our customers the best in fast, reliable and economical business and personal air travel in Mexico."
In conjunction with the expansion of sales to Mexico, Honda Aircraft Company has received a fractional order for 10 units of HondaJet from Aerolíneas Ejecutivas, S.A. de C.V. (ALE). The planes will be added to the company's Mexjet charter fleet and will be delivered beginning in 2012. ALE operates one of the largest fractional owner and air charter businesses in Mexico out of offices in Toluca and Monterrey and utilizes the most modern fleet of planes in the country.
Honda Aircraft Company also announced that it has opened HondaJet sales to Canada, with all sales to be handled directly from the company's headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. Service support for Canadian customers will be provided through the U.S. HondaJet service facility closest to each Canadian customer's location.
Honda Aircraft Company began U.S. sales of the HondaJet in October 2006 and quickly amassed orders for well over 100 units. In order to answer increasing worldwide demand for the plane, the company is expanding sales internationally starting now with the inclusion of all of North America.
HondaJet, Honda's first-ever commercial aircraft, 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 products in the very light jet (VLJ) class. All major assembly and testing of the prototype HondaJet has been conducted at the company's existing Greensboro, North Carolina, facility, which opened in 2001 as an extension of Honda's global R&D operations.
Working closely with the FAA, Honda Aircraft Company 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 will begin deliveries of HondaJet to customers in 2010.
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 to be completed in late 2009.
Worldwide HondaJet pilot training will be conducted in partnership with Flight Safety International, which will include the development of a Level-D full-motion flight simulator for HondaJet. The first simulator will be installed at Honda Aircraft Company's new headquarters facility. Additional training facilities will be established in the future as HondaJet sales continue to grow.