Pilatus PC-12 NGX and PC-24 make their debut in the Land of the Rising Sun

A Pilatus PC-24 on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Pilatus

Pilatus has received a warm welcome in Japan, as its PC-12 NGX and PC-24 make their debut. OpenSky founder and CEO Shigeto Honda aims to champion the Japanese private jet market, promoting the two Swiss manufactured aircraft to the wider Japanese public. 

Honda now offers clients fractional ownership of the fleet’s aircraft, which will now allow them to use it for their personal needs. 

OpenSky & Pilatus Market Entry

The company’s CEO has chosen Pilatus as the company’s workhorse due to its reliable performance on short runways and mountainous locations, which is synonymous with Japan’s geography. 

This leads to OpenSky’s advantage in serving Japan’s underserved markets and remote parts unable to be flown by commercial aircraft. 

One of the routes that could potentially favor the company is the Tokyo to Naha route, where business people could travel in style without the hassle of traveling with an airliner. 

According to Pilatus, data shows that there is a 6 probable percentage of increase in trips made by individuals in Japan, which presents an enormous opportunity for Honda’s company. 


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Huge Trust

Honda has placed enormous trust in Pilatus to champion his business ideas. The CEO’s journey into the world of business aviation began in 2018 in the charter discipline.

He offered UNHWI (Ultra High Netoworth Individuals) and Japanese conglomerates smaller aircraft under a new aircraft management service. 

Honda eyes secondary destinations or airports that were not served by regional airlines, such as IBEX, Starflyer, and Fuji Dream Airlines, but were popular and in high demand for business customers. Such destinations included remote islands in Okinawa, which would ordinarily be a hassle to reach. 

Honda’s simple but pragmatic idea won the hearts of his customers, as the majority saved time traveling using small jets. 

Honda at this stage knew that the Pilatus aircraft the PC-12 and the PC-24 would fit the bill of his business idea. 

Facing Challenges

Honda knew that promoting the Swiss-made aircraft was a challenge after many potential investors hesitated to funnel funds into his ambitious ideas. 

Honda pressed on regardless. His trip to Stans, Switzerland, home of Pilatus was a watershed moment for his dreams, as that visit led to him inking two major contracts, for one PC-12 and one PC-24. 

Photo Credits: Pilatus

That trip also convinced skeptical investors, which marked the beginning of OpenSky. The company is also setting its sights beyond Japan. It aims to operate medical evacuation flights to neighboring countries, like South Korea, Taiwan, and China. 

In fact, there is already existing demand between the Japanese capital Tokyo, and Shanghai, and many UHNWI are flying a lot between these two cities. 


In summary, OpenSky is one of Japan’s forward thinking operators in terms of green and sustainable energy in remote areas. 

This business model is driven by the grit and determination of Shiegto Honda and his dedicated team to provide a different form of unique and bespoke transportation scheme in the country.

Honda’s business model also allows individuals to save more time while traveling across Japan. His selection of Pilatus Aircraft is a testament to the manufacture; delivering excellent aircraft performance without compromising the environment.

By Indy Udol 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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