HondaJet Launches In Europe


One of the biggest stars on the Formula 1 racing circuit drives a Honda, and he’ll soon be flying one. Jenson Button was introduced at EBACE 2008 as the first European customer for the HondaJet. A large crowd formed at the Honda booth at the PalExpo convention center in Geneva to catch a glimpse of the popular F-1 driver, who bought two aircraft and is planning to build a new charter service. Honda also used the occasion to announce the establishment of three HondaJet sales and service centers, which, as their U.S. counterparts do, bear a strong resemblance to car dealerships. The service centers will be in Farnborough (a partnership with TAG), Frankfurt (Rheinland Air Service) and Madrid (Aviastec).

The announcement was Honda’s debut at EBACE, and the market potential has not been lost on company executives. “Europe is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for light jets, and we have a gret number of customers who have contacted us over the past two years about owning a HondaJet,” said Honda Aircraft CEO Michimasa Fujino. Fujino told the crowd the prototype aircraft was unavailable for the show because it’s undergoing intensive flight tests.