TOKYO -- Honda Motor has begun accepting orders for its popular small business jet in India, eyeing the growing ranks of the affluent in a push to boost Asia-Pacific sales.
Group member Honda Aircraft already offers the HondaJet in China and Southeast Asia, in addition to the Americas and Europe.
Arrow Aircraft Sales and Charters, based in New Delhi, has been designated country sales representative under arrangements announced Friday. It is also handling maintenance. Honda foresees a certain level of demand as India's wealthy demographic expands with the economy.
The HondaJet's unique design includes over-the-wing engines that allow for a larger cabin. It is billed as the fastest and most fuel-efficient jet in its class.
A cumulative 68 HondaJets had been delivered by the end of 2017. Forty-three were delivered last year -- 20 more than in 2016 and enough to surpass the Cessna Citation M2 as the year's top-selling small business jet.
A total of 676 business jets of all models were delivered worldwide in 2017, according to the U.S.-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association. North America received 63.8%, against just 9.9% in the Asia-Pacific region. But the Asia-Pacific share was up 2.2 percentage points on the year and speaks to the growing aircraft demand in the area.
Honda Aircraft has not yet decided whether to market the HondaJet in Japan.