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Honda Predicts HondaJet Profit By 2020

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Honda hopes to begin deliveries of HondaJet aircraft as early as next year and said in a Tokyo interview, Tuesday, that its aviation business is on track to become profitable within fives years after that. Honda has kept order numbers close to the vest, saying its order books are full for at least two years, and maybe three. It has not said how many jets that represents. Tuesday, Michimasa Fujino, president of Honda Aircraft said he expects sales to top 80 jets annually within a few years.

The $4.5 million six-seat twin-jet aims to realize a fuel efficiency increase of about 15 percent while flying faster than similar jets and carrying a lavatory as standard equipment. Honda had originally hoped to begin deliveries this year but has been delayed due to certification issues surrounding its GE/Honda Aero engines. More testing is required but the company expects the engines to be FAA certified later this year. It has not set a new delivery schedule, Mr. Fujino's comments notwithstanding. Meanwhile, Honda is moving ahead with investments into its production infrastructure in the form of facilities and staffing increases at its Greensboro, N.C., production site. Honda facilities at Piedmont Triad International Airport now employ at least 800 people and Honda the company is still hiring. Honda has committed to adding 400 jobs to support work, there.

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