UK’s Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has announced an aircraft reservation agreement with one of the largest regional airlines in Europe, Air Nostrum Group, for the supply of a small fleet of HAV’s pioneering hybrid aircraft – Airlander 10 to fly on Spanish routes. The partnership sees Air Nostrum Group reserve ten 100-seat Airlander 10 aircraft for delivery from 2026 onwards, with a view to begin operations as a launch airline.
HAV, which developed Airlander at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire, plans to launch production of the aircraft in South Yorkshire, UK, this year. It said Airlander 10 would cut flight emissions by up to 90% for journeys across Air Nostrum’s regional routes in Spain.
The helium-filled airship with twin conjoined hulls is rated to carry a total payload of 10 tonnes. Airlander’s four engines are currently combustion engines burning jet fuel, but by 2025 HAV is planning to run a hybrid-electric configuration. This will provide a 90% reduction in emissions over other aircraft in mobility and logistics applications while offering operational flexibility in service. The company is also planning to go all-electric by 2030, which will give future customers the option of a zero-emissions aircraft.
The latest reservation agreement follows six months of rigorous studies and modeling 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.
“We are exploring each and every possible way to reduce our carbon footprint. This is something that we have been doing for many years. The Airlander 10 will drastically reduce emissions, and for that reason, we have made this agreement with HAV,” said Carlos Bertomeu, President of Air Nostrum. “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 contemplated in the Fit for 55 legislative initiative.”