One week later than planned, the Airship Management Services (AMS) Skyship 600 airship chartered by United Arab Emirates real estate developer Nakheel has taken its first sightseeing flights over London on the first stage of its European tour that will take in Paris, Rome and Athens.

The airship has onboard early residents of the Nakheel Palm Jumeirah development of ocean-front villas in Dubai. The voyage, which will take in key landmarks such as the Tower of London and the London Eye today, is aimed to mark The World's place in the global list of landmarks. The World is a built on a series of reclaimed land islands in the Persian Gulf made to resemble a palm tree from the air. The airship will also take in the iconic Selfridges building in Birmingham, Stonehenge, the White Cliffs of Dover, the Eiffel Tower and Versailles Palace in Paris, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Coliseum in Rome and the Acropolis in Athens before crossing the Mediterranean and overflying the Great Pyramids in Egypt. The airship is scheduled to arrive in Dubai before the end of the year.

Skyship 600 is 60m (197ft) long and holds 7,000m3 (250,000ft3) of helium in its envelope. It has a cruising speed of 65km/h (36kt) and a maximum of 110km/h. The ship cruises at 1,000-3,000ft (330-1,000m) altitude and is propelled by two 190kW (255hp) turbo charged Porsche 930 engines.

The airship made a less glamorous visit earlier today when it passed Sutton, the London suburb home to the Flight group of publications, as our snap below shows.

Airship over Sutton