Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum has signed an agreement with Hybrid Air Vehicles for the acquisition of the company’s first 10 100-seat hybrid airships. 

The beginning of something new 

The agreement between Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) and Air Nostrum marks the first commercial order for the British manufacturer’s innovative avionic vehicle, making Air Nostrum the launch customer. 

The Airlander 10 is a special piece of equipment. According to HAV’s website, the Airlander offers a “unique combination of low emissions, fuel burn, noise, and operating costs.” With a desire to be the “future of zero-carbon aviation”, its hybrid airships are powered by a diesel engine and propellers – a combination that cuts flight emissions by up to 90%. 

HAV has been developing the Airlander 10 since 2012 and believes that the airship will be the world’s first large-scale aircraft to achieve zero-emissions flight. 

According to HAV, the aircraft can serve passengers and cargo as it can carry up to 14,000 kilograms of freight for a flight range of 3,900 kilometres. 

The partnership will see Valencia-based carrier Air Nostrum reserve 10 of the 100-seat Airlander 10 aircraft for delivery from 2026 onwards. 

Air Nostrum branded Airlander 10
The Airlander 10 is a hybrid aircraft. Hybrid aircraft are able to fly via a combination of aerodynamic life, lifting gases and a vectored thrust. | © Hybrid Air Vehicles

Production of the Airlander is due to start in South Yorkshire in the UK later this year and will create up to 1,800 new job opportunities in the aerospace sector in the region. 

A statement from HAV stated that the agreement with Air Nostrum is 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.” 

Tom Grundy, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles, shared his comments on the new partnership with the Air Nostrum Group:

“Airlander is designed to deliver a better future for sustainable aviation services, enable new transport networks and provide rapid growth options for our customers. Our partnership with Air Nostrum Group, as the launch airline for Airlander 10, leads the way towards that future.” 

The CEO continued:

As countries like France, Denmark, Norway, Spain and the UK begin to put in place ambitious mandates for the decarbonisation of domestic and short-haul flight, Hybrid Air Vehicles and Air Nostrum Group are demonstrating how we can get there – and get there soon.”   

Air Nostrum Executive President Carlos Bertomeu praised the Airlander 10 and its qualities in a statement whilst explaining the benefits of the partnership.

“The Airlander 10 will drastically reduce emissions and for that reason, we have made this agreement with HAV.”

Bertomeu continued:

“Sustainability, which is good news for everyone, is already a non-negotiable fact in the daily operations of commercial aviation. Agreements such as these are a very effective way to reach the de-carbonization targets.” 

The UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng commented on HAV’s achievements and what it means for greater sustainability within aviation:

“Hybrid aircraft could play an important role as we transition to cleaner forms of aviation, and it is wonderful to see the UK right at the forefront of the technology’s development.”

All 10 of the hybrid airships will serve Air Nostrum routes across Spain. 

What do you make of the Airlander 10 airships? Are you excited to see it in action? Let us know in the comments below.

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