By 2026, a Spanish airline will have ten new hybrid airships in its air fleet, a stylish and environmentally-friendly way to carry passengers over short distances for a fraction of the carbon footprint of traditional flights.
“As countries like France, Denmark, Norway, Spain, and the UK begin to put in place ambitious mandates for the decarbonization of domestic and short-haul flight, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) and Air Nostrum Group are demonstrating how we can get there — and get there soon,” says Tom Grundy, CEO of HAV. “Airlander is designed to deliver a better future for sustainable aviation services, enable new transport networks and provide rapid growth options for our customers.”
HAV’s Airlander 10 stays afloat with helium and is powered by electricity. A total of 100 passengers at a time will do a 300-to-400-kilometer ride at a top speed of 129 km/h and at a maximum altitude of 6,100 meters. According to the UK-based company, hybrid airships could cut up to 90% of carbon dioxide emissions. HAV is working on “further developments in electric propulsion” to make the Airlander 10 the first large-scale aircraft to achieve zero-emissions flights. Air Nostrum ordered ten Airlander 10 aircraft to offer its customers point-to-point journeys – landing on waterfronts or greenfield sites for example – since the aircraft doesn’t need an airport runway to land, and to achieve the European Union’s “Fit for 55” goal: cutting at least 55% of emissions by 2030.