Honda Motor will launch a transportation service next year in Japan that combines chartering its business jets with its cars and motorcycles. Looking beyond wealthy individuals and corporate travelers, the transportation conglomerate is aiming at a new audience that includes medical specialists as well as tourists wanting to visit the more rural areas of Japan.
The company told NikkeiAsia.com that the service will connect its HondaJet Elite with its land vehicles at the other end of the journey. It will be Japan’s first integrated mode of transport that includes a business jet.
“We want to make the jet an even more accessible mode of transportation,” the project manager at Honda told the website. Honda is working on an app that will allow consumers to schedule and pay for flights and vehicle rentals.
The HondaJet Elite S has a six-passenger capacity and range of 1,437 nautical miles, though the initial service will only require half that range—from one end of Japan’s main island to the other. Honda’s light jets have remained as top sellers in the global business-jet market.
While combining a charter flight, app and car rental aren’t new, having a manufacturer control the jet operations and other modes of transportation is a first. Honda sees the operation as more of a service to Japan’s more rural areas, both for medical access and development of tourism. It plans to bring the service to other Asian markets.
Honda plans to compete against other charter operators on price, while using dynamic pricing that adjusts depending on the periods of demand. The automaker also plans to collaborate with railroad or bus companies, travel agencies and local governments to serve individual travelers in the future.
A trial service will begin next October. The areas in Japan to be served will be officially announced in 2023.