It was 2005 when Michimasa Fujino brought an experimental HondaJet to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the first time it had been publicly displayed.                                                                       

The overwhelming response from aviation enthusiasts at the Wisconsin show helped Fujino, now president and CEO of Honda Aircraft, to successfully propose to Honda Motor Co. to move forward with a project to commercialize the aircraft.

“Oshkosh is a very important event,” Fujino told The Weekly of Business Aviation.

This year, the company will display its upgraded $5.25 million HondaJet Elite business jet at AirVenture, which runs July 23-29. The aircraft—with increased range and useful load and updated Garmin 3000 avionics, two-tone seats and other features—was introduced at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in June in Geneva. First deliveries are expected in August, Fujino said at the time.

Since EBACE, the HondaJet Elite has been well-received, Fujino said.

“We have a lot of inquiries from operators and customers,” he said.

That said, the second quarter of 2018 has been a little slower than the first three months of the year. That is due to the transition to the Elite version and because it is finalizing contractual agreements, including an agreement with Wijet for the aircraft, he said.

Honda Aircraft recently announced that it is expanding sales into Japan with the appointment of Marubeni Aerospace as an authorized dealer.

“Business aviation in Japan is not so developed,” Fujino said. “I hope we can create a new market in Japan.”