The new airships are on the horizon. | Air Nostrum

Spanish airline group Air Nostrum has doubled its commitment for Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) Airlander from10 to 20 aircraft, delivering a boost to the UK developer ahead of its planned production start and certification campaign which could see British tourists flying to Mallorca and the Balearics by airship.

Air Nostrum had originally reserved 10 examples of the hybrid airship in a 100-passenger configuration in June 2022.
The reservation agreement followed six months of rigorous studies and modelling carried out by Air Nostrum Group and HAV into the operation of Airlander 10 on Spanish domestic aviation routes and the associated economics.

Airlander 10 aircraft are expected to diversify and complement Air Nostrum Group’s existing aircraft fleet currently operating on these routes, carrying 100 passengers while producing only around one tenth of the harmful emissions.

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In March, HAV announced plans to build Airlander 10 in Doncaster, UK with help from a £7 million ($8.5 million) loan from the local authority. HAV plans to deliver its first aircraft in 2026 and to be producing 10 aircraft per year by the end of the decade.

With ability to land on and take off vertically from grass fields and water, HAV markets Airlander 10 as suitable for a variety of roles, including cargo, surveillance, regional transport and VIP travel. Its first three production slots are reserved for unnamed luxury tourism operators.

Miguel Angel Falcon, chairman of Mel Air and vice-president of Air Nostrum, says Airlander 10’s “very low fuel consumption (and) high operational versatility… in an environment of great passenger comfort” makes it “an excellent aircraft for short flights”.