Hon­daJet sees huge po­ten­tial in China

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - -AP

SHANG­HAI: Hon­daJet, the busi­ness air­craft de­vel­oped by Honda Mo­tor Co., sees big prospects in China and South­east Asia as wealthy in­di­vid­u­als seek out the light­weight plane as an ef­fi­ciency tool.

There's a "huge po­ten­tial," Honda Air­craft Co. Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Michi­masa Fu­jino said in an in­ter­view with Bloomberg Tele­vi­sion's Haslinda Amin at the Sin­ga­pore Air­show Tues­day. "I'm look­ing at the next 10 years, ap­prox­i­mately 700 or 800 units will be sold in th­ese ter­ri­to­ries."

Honda later clar­i­fied in an email that the 700 to 800 units the CEO was re­fer­ring to was a mar­ket fore­cast and not the com­pany's own sales. With leather seats for as many as seven pas­sen­gers, the com­pany bills the $4.5 mil­lion jet as the fastest, qui­etest and most fuel-ef­fi­cient in its class. The plane made its maiden Ja­panese flight in April 2015 af­ter three decades in de­vel­op­ment, and re­ceived type cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the U.S. Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion in De­cem­ber that year.

En­trepreneurs and young busi­ness­men are start­ing to re­al­ize that a small busi­ness jet isn't a lux­ury, "but more like a pro­duc­tiv­ity tool to boost their busi­ness," Fu­jino said.

While the num­ber of high net worth in­di­vid­u­als in China is al­most the same as in the U.S., only about 2.5 per­cent of those in China are us­ing their own busi­ness jets, com­pared with about 18 per­cent for some western coun­tries like the U.S, the ex­ec­u­tive said. "That per­cent­age gap should be de­creased in the fu­ture," Fu­jino said.

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