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Aerospace & Defense

Honda begins business jet deliveries to China

Automaker positions country as its main Asian aircraft market

The HondaJet Elite: The automaker's planes have soared to the top of the small business jet sales charts. (Photo courtesy of Honda)

TOKYO -- Honda Motor on Wednesday said it has begun delivering business jets to Chinese customers, as it looks to expand its nascent aircraft business across Asia.

Honda Aircraft, the Japanese automaker's U.S. subsidiary, delivered a HondaJet Elite -- a model announced in May 2018 that offers longer cruising range than previous jets as well as the latest flight management system.

The group sees China and its significant number of wealthy potential customers as the main market for business jets in Asia. Honda started taking plane orders there in October 2017 and received certification this past August.

In 2018, the HondaJet topped the global ranking of small business jet deliveries for the second straight year. About 140 are flying worldwide, including HondaJets and HondaJet Elites.

"As the general aviation market in China develops, HondaJet expects to create new value," Honda Aircraft President and CEO Michimasa Fujino said.

To support HondaJet customers in China, Honsan General Aviation will provide sales and service in Guangzhou, at the business jet terminal in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

Honda delivers the first HondaJet for a Chinese customer at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on Dec. 11.

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