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Honda Motor Co. said Thursday that its HondaJet was the best-selling small business aircraft in the world for the fourth straight year in 2020 thanks to its high performance, spacious cabin and fuel economy.

The Japanese automaker said its aircraft-manufacturing unit delivered a total of 31 small passenger jets last year, when the novel coronavirus pandemic halted most traveling between countries.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decline in overall business jet deliveries compared to previous years, we also have seen it accelerating the shift to safer and more sustainable modes of transportation," Honda Aircraft Co. President and CEO Michimasa Fujino said in a statement.

"HondaJet deliveries quickly recovered to pre-COVID levels by the end of" 2020, Fujino added.

Honda said more than 170 HondaJets have entered into service worldwide since the aircraft's first delivery in 2015. Last year, it obtained type certifications required for flight operations in Russia and Pakistan, the automaker said.

Meanwhile, Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp. said Wednesday it had launched charter services using HondaJets for general customers in Japan. The hourly charge is between ¥500,000 ($4,700) and ¥600,000, for up to five passengers.

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