Honda Aircraft offers support to Jet It owners; affirms HondaJet safety

Honda Aircraft offers support to Jet It owners; affirms HondaJet safety.

By Doug Gollan, June 2, 2023

Honda Aircraft says its VLJ is ‘reliable and safe to operate’

OEM Honda Aircraft Company is offering customer support to fractional owners of the HondaJets previously managed by Jet It, LLC, according to a news release.

“Honda Aircraft Company is committed to delivering the highest quality product and customer service to all HondaJet owners. Based on this commitment, Honda Aircraft Company is establishing a dedicated team to help provide seamless transitions to alternative aircraft management options for the HondaJet fractional owners who have been released from Jet It,” the company said in a press release received this evening.

The news was first reported earlier today in Aviation International News.

HAC will provide fractional owners with free parking for their aircraft at its headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, for up to 90 days.

The OEM is including the offer of pilot services to relocate the aircraft to its facility.

There is no charge for the service.

“We understand the challenges faced by fractional owners who have been impacted by the suspension of their aircraft management after being released from contract by Jet It, and are now seeking alternative arrangements,” said Amod Kelkar, Chief Commercial Officer and Vice President, Customer Service.

He continued, “Consistent with our dedication to customer satisfaction, we have developed and established this assistance plan for those HondaJet owners in need of additional support during this transition period.”

HondaJet: ‘Reliable and safe to operate’

Kelkar added, “The HondaJet remains a reliable and safe aircraft to operate, and we reaffirm our confidence in the aircraft’s safety through our engineering and analysis.”

On May 19, Jet It said it grounded its fleet of the VLJ out of safety concerns after a series of runway excursions.

According to AIN, “Flight Safety Foundation’s Aviation Safety Network database lists 25 HondaJet incidents and accidents since June 2015; none have been fatal, though eight involved substantial aircraft damage. Most involved runway excursions on landing.”

Three of the overruns since the beginning of 2022 were Jet It aircraft.

Jet It followed the HondaJet grounding by grounding its Phenom 300 and Gulfstream G150 and laying off its entire workforce.

Last Fall, in an email blasting Honda’s support, Jet It CEO Glenn Gonzales wrote the HondaJet “may well be described as a fine piece of engineering, their service has been woefully lacking.”

Gonzales was a sales executive at the OEM prior to launching the fractional operator.

FAA responds to HondaJet incidents

A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration tells Private Jet Card Comparisons, “The FAA is engaged with the manufacturer and operators of this aircraft and will take appropriate steps based on the evidence from the investigations into these overrun incidents.”

Asked if the current engagement was standard or at a heightened level due to the multiple incidents, the FAA spokesperson added, “We routinely look into all such incidents and take note of any unusual trends.”

In its press release under a section titled “About Honda Aircraft Company’s commitment to safety,” the manufacturer added, “Safety is Honda Aircraft Company’s top priority in the design and operation of our aircraft. With over 230 HondaJets in operation worldwide and accumulating over 180,000 flight hours, the HondaJet boasts a dispatch reliability of over 99.7%. Honda Aircraft Company’s engineering and analysis demonstrates that the product is a safe aircraft to operate, and all flight activities will continue under normal operation.”

Jet It financial troubles?

Jet It was apparently facing financial issues at the time it decided to ground the HondaJet fleet.

Private Jet Card Comparisons first reported last October that Jet It expected to lose $23 million last year on $120 million in revenues, according to an investor presentation as part of its move to the Embraer Phenom platform.

According to reporting by Flying magazine, Jet It owed money to a variety of vendors when it grounded its fleet, including sales executives.

Two other HondaJet fractional and jet card providers, Volato and Jet Token, are providing support for Jet It owners earlier this week.

Currently, Volato has 17 HondaJets with 24 on order. There are 20 aircraft in the Jet It HondaJet fleet.

Jet Token has three HondaJets and then a jet card program in conjunction with Las Vegas-based Cirrus Aviation.

How much did it Jet It really cost?

Several Jet It owners say that CEO Glenn Gonzales had told them their HondaJets are worth around $5 million.

Owners were paying $1,600 per hour to fly, a fact Jet It heavily marketed.

However, according to the Private Jet Card Comparisons Fractional Ownership Calculator, a 10% shareowner who was entitled to fly on 25 days and averaged two flight hours per day would have paid $4,626 per hour for their flights based on the program’s guaranteed 44% residual value at end of term when factoring in the $54,000 per year management fee and cost of ownership.

An owner averaging three hours per day would have paid $3,795 per hour, while an owner averaging 90 minutes per day would have been paying $5,456, assuming they didn’t have any tax benefits.

Jet It owners will now need to factor in legal bills and liens when they calculate how much they were really paying.

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