Charter operator Wijet is to replace its aging Cessna Citation Mustang light jets with slightly larger HondaJets, the first of which is to be delivered this summer.

Phasing out the Mustangs is planned to be swift, thanks to Honda's delivering one aircraft per month. They will either be of the recently unveiled Elite version or soon retrofitted to that standard, Wijet CEO Patrick Hersent tells ShowNews. The operator's order for 16 HondaJets – announced in February – included eight new and eight pre-owned jets.

Between one and three Mustangs, however, will remain in the fleet. Having an edge over the HondaJet in runway performance, Hersent explains, they will be used for airports such as Saint-Tropez-la-Mole on the French Riviera. The HondaJet cannot fly commercially to Wijet's Blackbushe base.

A 20% greater speed, 20-25% longer range, five “real” seats and accompanying “real” lavatory were the factors in the choice for the HondaJet, Hersent explains. It is also said to be quieter and its Garmin G3000 is seen as the state-of-the-art in avionics. Eight pilots have been trained already.

Honda will be a partner, as it will tap Wijet to fly its executives to corporate events in Europe.

Wijet flies an estimated 6,600-7,000 hr. per year. Originally a French operator, it took over British counterpart Blink in 2016. Since then, Wijet has its headquarters in the UK and has operated under Blink's air operator's certificate. A second AOC is to be added, in an EU country, to ensure that any adverse effect of Brexit is countered.

Pricing has recently evolved. Wijet launched with a flat rate – 2,400 euros ($2,900) per hour in its latest iteration – and thus touted transparency. A major drawback, however, was that rate could not take seasonality into account. Pricing information is no longer available outside specific quotations and prepaid jet cards.