Spain’s Air Nostrum Group has unveiled an extraordinary provisional agreement to acquire airships to operate commercial services in the country.
It is reserving production slots for 10 examples of the Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander 10, with a view to taking delivery from 2026.
Air Nostrum Group, which serves as a regional partner to Iberia, says it will be the launch customer for the “ecological and versatile” airship.
President Carlos Bertomeu says the company is looking to “explore all ways” to reduce carbon impact. “The Airlander 10 will dramatically lower emissions,” he says.
The carrier aims to introduce the Airlander fleet over a five-year period, through operational leases, as part of a sustainable mobility project.
“Air Nostrum is exploring different solutions that seek to improve environmental protection,” the Spanish company states.
It says the Airlander can adapt to the specific needs of each destination, having the capability of landing on “any reasonably flat surface”, including water.
“Given its ability to take off and land in small spaces, the Airlander 10 can be the perfect mobility alternative for air transport in cities that do not have airport facilities, as well as islands,” it adds.
Air Nostrum Group and UK-based Hybrid Air Vehicles have conducted six months of “rigorous studies and modelling”, says the manufacturer, focusing on operation of the Airlander 10 on Spanish domestic routes.
The Airlander 10 is expected to “diversify and complement” the Air Nostrum fleet, with the capability of transporting up to 100 passengers. Production of the Airlander is set to begin this year at facilities in the northern UK.
Hybrid Air Vehicles chief Tom Grundy says the airship is designed to enable “new transport networks” and offer “rapid growth options” for customers.