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

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

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

The deal is estimated to be worth up 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 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.

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HondaJet, which took about three decades to develop and costs US$4.9 million per plane, is made by Honda Aircraft, a wholly owned subsidiary of automobile giant Honda Motor Company.

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."

Mr Hersent 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.

THE STRAITS TIMES

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