The Honda Aircraft Company announced that its all-new HondaJet Elite executive jet has received type certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), Flying magazine reported.

“Since we expanded to China, we have received several orders and have prioritized sales throughout China,” said Honda Aircraft Co. president and CEO Michimasa Fujino.

“We will continue to contribute to the maturity of the business aviation market with the HondaJet. We are pleased our customers will soon be able to take delivery of their aircraft and are confident the HondaJet Elite will provide them with more efficient and comfortable travel.”

Dr. Cheng Qian, CEO of Honsan General Aviation Co. Ltd., the HondaJet dealer: “The HondaJet Elite is now certified in China and we are thrilled to begin deliveries of the aircraft to our Chinese customers.

“The aircraft is truly a time machine and will help to develop popular jet services in the region by showcasing the benefits of very light jet travel.”

Chinese certification adds to the HondaJet Elite’s approvals from across the globe, including the FAA in the United States, EASA in Europe, Mexico’s DGAC, Brazil’s ANAC, India’s DGAC, Japan’s JCAB and Transport Canada.

More than 130 HondaJets are currently in service. The HondaJet Elite is an upgraded version that entered service last year.

According to the Robb Report, the original twin-turbofan HondaJet sold well, with some 85 delivered since 2015.

The Elite upgrades the already impressive HondaJet – giving it more range, better fuel efficiency and a cabin with more features and amenities. Handout.

The unique placement of the engines on pylons sprouting up from the wings and the streamlined, dolphin-like shape of the nose make it instantly recognizable.

Changes to the inlets of the Honda/General Electric turbofans have made it less noisy for those lounging in the two-tone leather luxury of the Elite’s cabin, the Robb Report said.

And optional extra protection against mishandling, built into the faster and more capable avionics system, makes it safer when cruising at a top speed of roughly 486 mph.

Other improvements for the Elite include shorter takeoff and landing distances and a range increase of 17%, which now allows a maximum single-hop distance of 1,437 nautical miles — plenty of distance to get you to your domestic destination in one go or with one refueling.

In the past decade, demand for private jets experienced “explosive growth” in China along with the country’s economic boom, which gave birth to a group of wealthy Chinese entrepreneurs whose personal assets have exceeded US$1 billion, Global Times reported.

According to a report issued by the research institute Hurun Report, a total of 114 Chinese entrepreneurs have purchased 164 private jets as of the end of 2017, up 35 from 2016.

Among the list revealed by Hurun, Chinese tycoons including Wang Jianlin, Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma Yun, Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing and Tencent’s founder Pony Ma Huateng all own business aircraft.

List price for a HondaJet Elite is US$5.25 million — around $300,000 more expensive than a standard HondaJet. Handout.