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Honda’s Feud With Its Largest Private Jet Fleet Operator Goes Public

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The most important operator of Honda Motor Firm’s entry into the non-public jet market is lambasting the producer in an electronic mail despatched final week to members of its fractional share program. The letter from Jet It Co-founder and CEO Glenn Gonzalez, first revealed in Personal Jet Card Comparisons, was titled, “The Jet It You Deserve,” and claims that over the previous 5 months the operator had “a median of solely 10 plane flyable out of 24.”

Gonzalez wrote, “We frankly discover all of this, not simply disappointing however surprising on condition that Jet It’s Honda Plane Firm’s largest buyer, having spent over $200 million in plane, components, service, and coaching.”

The CEO advised his share house owners, “At the least we anticipated the HondaJet to satisfy an business commonplace of 85% availability,” persevering with, “I’m extremely upset by the uptime of the HondaJet, and the grossly insufficient help,” including, “For almost two years we’ve got performed our greatest to defend you from Honda’s ineptitude, however our defend has worn by way of.”

He says Jet It has incurred over $20 million in additional bills to constitution alternative plane when its Honda fleet couldn’t carry out missions.

As beforehand reported in Forbes, Jet It’s switching to Embraer’s Phenom 300 for its share program, and the e-mail was despatched upfront of establishing gross sales calls to evaluation the brand new choice.

Feuds between OEMs and prospects will not be uncommon. Airbus and Qatar Airways are at the moment embroiled in a really loud and public authorized battle, though in non-public aviation, they are typically extra muted. The Qatari nationwide provider declined to remark when its Qatar Government unit returned its Gulfstream G500 fleet to the unit of Common Dynamics, apparently taking G650ERs as an alternative.

On this case, it’s maybe extra private. Each Honda’s enterprise jet unit and Jet It are based mostly in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Gonzalez was a regional gross sales supervisor with Honda Plane Firm earlier than launching the fractional supplier in 2018.

In a press release to Personal Jet Card Comparisons, an OEM spokesperson stated, “Honda Plane Firm has been made conscious by just a few sources a few message despatched by Jet It CEO to the Jet It fractional house owners. HACI want to reconfirm our place concerning the HondaJet plane fleet reliability and our strong dedication to help the product.”

She continued, “HACI doesn’t touch upon inner operational issues regarding our prospects. The HondaJet dispatch reliability stays very excessive at 99.7%. We work intently with all our prospects to help them to maximise their asset availability, which can be influenced by a number of elements related to a buyer’s operations, equivalent to prolonged downtimes because of accidents, incidents, pilot, technician availability, upkeep planning, and scheduling, and repair heart community coordination.”

The spokesperson added, “Because the HondaJet fleet continues to develop, we’re dedicated to making sure that every of our prospects across the globe receives the very best high quality of service and help, with the availability of components and factory-trained and authorized service technicians obtainable at every of the Licensed Service Heart (ASC) areas. With the addition of 4 new full-service ASCs in the USA and world areas in 2022, we proceed to strengthen our service capability.”

The reference to accidents and incidents could also be a dig again at Jet It. Three of its HondaJets have been out of service after runway excursions earlier this yr, and whereas there have been no accidents, Gonzalez says the accidents have been excluded within the availability calculations despatched to prospects.

Jet It’s choice to go public in blasting the OEM might impression two different start-ups promoting fractional and jet card applications using Honda’s very gentle jet.

Volato CEO Matt Liotta stated in a press release, “HACI continues to enhance their platform, issuing know-how updates and investing in pilot coaching. With every revision, their plane efficiency and reliability have both met or exceeded our expectations. Our relationship and dedication to this platform are rising stronger. Though there may be extra work to be performed, as an operator that believes in long-term, clear relationships, product enchancment, operational effectivity, and delivering one of the best buyer expertise, we’ve got confidence within the HondaJet for the long run.”

Requested to remark in regards to the Jet It electronic mail, Michael Winston, Chairman of Jet Token, stated, “(HondaJet’s) upkeep schedule may be very manageable and has been deliberate into our operation from the beginning. And the reliability of the plane is on par with or exceeds that of every other gentle/very gentle jet in our expertise.”

Liotta added in a put up on Linkedin, “After publicly excoriating their present OEM, I’m certain Embraer will soar on the likelihood to have Jet It as a buyer.”

Up to now, Jet It hasn’t positioned an order with Embraer, though Gonzalez says one is deliberate. Its preliminary Phenom 300 fleet will likely be through the preowned market.

On-line feedback in regards to the rift have been blended.

Michael Riegel, a guide and former Bombardier and Flexjet government, posted, “Having run a big fleet of sunshine jets I believe the reality sits someplace between Jet It and Honda. First, reaching 85% uptime is extraordinarily troublesome with enterprise jets. You want the plane on a progressive upkeep schedule and sufficient service facilities to offer help, nationwide…Honda don’t have the infrastructure and experience to offer the mandatory stage of help, and Jet It both ought to have recognized this, or ought to have discovered workarounds, by now!”

Nonetheless, one other guide, Tom Cappelletti posted, “Glenn is the true deal. Disgrace on HondaJet.”

Rob Hoffman, an Government Producer for Flying Journal, added, “That is what occurs while you say the quiet half out loud.”

Regardless of the cruel and public criticism of his former employer, Gonzalez raised eyebrows by confirming Jet It plans to maintain a part of its HondaJet fleet to broaden its on-demand constitution enterprise.

Whereas fractional house owners get assured availability, Gonzalez famous, “Constitution demand is variable. We will flip it off, flip it on.”

Liotta, for his half, says he expects Volato to surpass Jet It as the biggest Honda fleet operator by Q1 of subsequent yr, and he’s curious about buying extra of the VLJs. “If Jet It may’t, or gained’t, provide dependable HondaJet service, we’re completely satisfied to welcome their HondaJets into our fleet to offer these house owners our wonderful service,” he says.

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