- Air Nostrum has increased its order for Airlander airships from 10 to 20, as part of its plans to expand airship routes in the Mediterranean region.
- The airline chose the 100-passenger configuration of the Airlander, citing its low fuel consumption, operational versatility, and passenger comfort.
- Air Nostrum aims to reduce its carbon footprint by incorporating the Airlander airships, which have significantly lower CO2 emissions compared to its current fleet.
Two months ago, Air Nostrum made an order for 10 Airlander airships manufactured by Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV). The Spanish regional airline has announced that it has increased the order by another ten aircraft, bringing the total order amount to 20.
The Air Nostrum Group will likely split the aircraft among its subsidiaries, which include Hibernian Airlines in Ireland and Mel Air in Malta.
The Airlander and Air Nostrum
In its original order, Air Nostrum opted for the 100-passenger configuration of the aircraft, which they have chosen to stay with for the additional ten aircraft. The order number has been increased because Air Nostrum has plans to expand airship routes from Spain to Malta and the greater Mediterranean region.
Speaking about the new order, Miguel Ángel Falcón, Chairman of Mel Air and Vice President of Air Nostrum, said:
“There are many factors that motivate us in flying Airlander, including very low fuel consumption, bringing great ecological and economic benefits; the high operational versatility of being able to take-off and land on land and water; the family concept offering from 10 to 50 tonnes of payload starting with 100 passengers on the Airlander 10, all in an environment of great passenger comfort. These are just some critical factors that make the Airlander an excellent aircraft for regional flights.”
Air Nostrum expects to receive the first airship in 2026.
The Airlander 10 is the only aircraft that HAV currently produces. However, the company plans to develop an airship capable of a 50-tonne payload, aptly named the Airlander 50.
Air Nostrum has joined the Airlander 50 Development Partner Program, making it the first commercial airline to do so. Being a part of the program allows the airline to influence the final design and specifications of the aircraft.
Photo: Hybrid Air Vehicles
Tom Grundy, the Chief Operating Officer of Hybrid Air Vehicles, said this about the partnership between the two companies:
“Our growing partnership with Air Nostrum Group continues to demonstrate leadership towards the future of flight and revolutionizing how we fly… We’re so pleased to have doubled Air Nostrum’s reservation to 20 aircraft and to have its backing for our journey and support for our Airlander 50 Development Programme.”
Sustainability and efficiency
According to Planespotters.net, the airline currently operates a fleet of 39 aircraft with an average age of 11.0 years. The fleet comprises six ATRs and a mixture of Bombardier CRJ200s and CRJ1000s.
The current fleet is far from environmentally friendly, so Air Nostrum is doubling down on its Airlander orders. In comparison to similar aircraft, the base model Airlander will reduce CO2 emissions by 75%, and the hybrid-electric model features a 90% reduction in emissions.
Air Nostrum hopes that by incorporating these aircraft, the company will be able to reduce its carbon footprint and become more sustainable.