Air Nostrum Group Doubles Its Reservation for Hybrid Air Vehicles' Sustainable Airships
Image Credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles
In an extraordinary escalation of commitment to sustainable aviation, the conglomerate behind Spanish airline Air Nostrum, Ireland's Hibernian Airlines, and Mel Air of Malta has intensified its reservation tally for Hybrid Air Vehicles' groundbreaking Airlander 10. The hybrid helium-based aircraft now counts 20 reservations from this aviation alliance, up from an initial 10.
Last June, we heard that Air Nostrum had initially committed to 10 eco-friendly air behemoths, each capable of transporting up to a hundred souls. Fast forward to now: the same company shakes the aviation world again, announcing a doubling of its Airlander fleet as it eyes expansion into the Mediterranean airspace.
What's fascinating is the developing vision for Airlander's potential route network—recently unveiled by Mel Air and the UK's Hybrid Air Vehicles to Transport Malta's bigwigs. The airship could be zipping between Malta and Gozo, Sicily, and even stretching its wings to Tunisia and Libya.
And if you think this deal is just about buying aircraft, think again. Air Nostrum has leapt aboard the Airlander 50 Development Partner Programme, taking the coveted spot as the first commercial airline collaborator for the next-gen airships envisioned to heft 50-ton payloads.
Why the enthusiasm for more Airlanders, you ask? Miguel Ángel Falcón, a key player in Mel Air and Air Nostrum, cites the airship's miserly fuel consumption and superb operational flexibility—it can land on both Terra firma and aquatic expanses—as prime motivators. "Simply put," Falcón quips, "the Airlander is a game-changer for regional aviation."
This development comes on the heels of Hybrid Air Vehicles securing a hefty £7m investment from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to produce Airlanders in Doncaster. The venture pledges over 1,200 specialized jobs and novel supply networks. Tom Grundy, the man at the helm of Hybrid Air Vehicles, couldn't be more ecstatic about the expanding Air Nostrum alliance, affirming its endorsement of Airlander's promise to revolutionize low-carbon flight.
Lastly, Malta's civil aviation head honcho, Captain Charles Pace, sees the blossoming partnership as an "intriguing venture," potentially bringing green aviation solutions to Malta's unique geography.
All this unfolds within the backdrop of a greater eco-momentum in the aviation world. Salesforce, Deloitte, and Breakthrough Energy are among the titans calling innovators to engineer solutions that decarbonize the skies through a newly minted 'Sustainable Aviation Challenge.'
Ergo, the Airlander saga adds another compelling chapter, signalling technological evolution and a paradigm shift towards sustainability in our airborne endeavours.