Air Nostrum is a company that operates flights under the Iberia Regional umbrella from its Valencia base, has ordered 10 Airlander 10 aircraft, with delivery scheduled for 2026.
They are developed by UK-based Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) and these hybrid airships could reduce emissions by 90%, according to the company.
They are run by helium and powered by electricity and will seat 100 passengers. They usually fly 300-400 kilometers (186-249 miles), according to the manufacturer.
The deal follows six months of “rigorous studies and modeling” of internal Spanish routes, according to the manufacturer.
HAV says that in the future, potential short-range routes for the aircraft could include Liverpool to Belfast (168 miles), Seattle to Vancouver (127 miles), and Oslo to Stockholm (263 miles). The aircraft can make point-to-point journeys since it doesn’t need an airport runway to land.
“Airlander doesn’t need airport structure to operate. HAV is exploring novel operating locations with Air Nostrum,” a spokesperson told CNN.
The cabins have a 1-2-1 configuration, some seats facing each other with, and transparent walls giving views of the countryside below.
Air Nostrum President Carlos Bertomeu said the airships will help his company toward the European Union’s “Fit for 55” goals of cutting emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
“The Airlander 10 will drastically reduce emissions and for that reason, we have made this agreement with HAV,” he said in a statement. “Sustainability… 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.”
HAV CEO Tom Grundy added: “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 and Air Nostrum Group are demonstrating how we can get there — and get there soon.
“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 will start building the vehicles this year, creating 1,800 jobs in Yorkshire, UK.
The company said that it was working on “further developments in electric propulsion,” and aim to scale this.