HondaJet Cancels Media Event after Japan Earthquake

Impact on flight-test program unclear.


HondaJet has indefinitely postponed a planned media tour of the company's Greensboro, North Carolina, headquarters after the devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan on March 11. In a statement last Friday to invited media, the company wrote, "As you have surely heard by now, the country of Japan has just suffered an unbelievably tragic earthquake and ensuing tidal wave. In consideration of the magnitude of the tragedy and the significant effect on Honda associates and their families, we have chosen to postpone next week's media open house event." No HondaJet employees were hurt or killed in the earthquake or tsunami, but some employees are still awaiting word on the fate of loved ones back home. Company executives were preparing to open the doors on Tuesday to the HondaJet's sprawling production center next to Greensboro Piedmont Triad International Airport. The light twinjet is currently undergoing flight testing in anticipation of certification and first deliveries next year. The media tour would have given the press an up-close glimpse of the ambitious project, which for years has been shrouded in secrecy as Honda developed the airplane. The company said it will reschedule the event for a future date.