One Spanish airline is continuing its quest to find environmentally friendly aviation. It has ordered new hybrid airships, which are as visually stunning as they are environmentally.
Air Nostrum operates flights under Iberia Regional from Valencia and has ordered 10 Airlander 10, with delivery expected for 2026.
It was previously predicted by its makers that the aircraft would be in service in 2025, which it was revealed in 2016.
The hybrid airships were developed by UK-based Hybrid Air Vehicles, (HAV). According to the company, they could reduce emissions by up to 90%.
They are powered by electricity and helium, and can hold 100 passengers. However, you shouldn't expect lightning fast flight -- the maximum speed is 80 mph (129 km/h).
According to the manufacturer, the deal was reached after six months of "rigorous research and modeling" of Spanish routes within Spain.
HAV states that the aircraft may be able to fly short distances in the future. These include Liverpool to Belfast (168 mi), Seattle to Vancouver (127 mi), Oslo to Stockholm (263 mi). HAV has earmarked waterfronts, greenfields and underutilized airports as potential destinations for the aircraft.
"Airlander does not require an airport structure in order to operate. CNN spokeswoman HAV said that Air Nostrum is looking at new operating areas.
The interiors of this aircraft are more luxurious than ordinary airplane cabins. They have a 1-2-1 layout, seats facing one another, and transparent walls that allow for views of the surrounding countryside. It can fly up to 20,000 feet for those who want to see the destination.
Carlos Bertomeu, President of Air Nostrum, stated that the airships will assist his company in reaching European Union's "Fit for 55", which aims to reduce emissions by at least 55% per year by 2030.
He stated that the Airlander 10 would dramatically reduce emissions. "We have made this agreement to HAV," he stated in a statement. "Sustainability...is already a non-negotiable reality in commercial aviation's daily operations.
"Agreements like these are an effective way to achieve the de-carbonization goals contemplated by the Fit for 55 legislative initiative."
HAV CEO Tom Grundy said: "As countries such as France, Denmark Norway, Spain, and the UK start to set ambitious mandates for decarbonization domestic and short-haul flight, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) and Air Nostrum Group demonstrate how we can get there - and get there quickly.
Airlander was created to provide a better future for sustainable aviation services and enable new transport networks. It also provides rapid growth options for customers.
HAV will begin building the fleet in this year. This will create 1,800 jobs in Yorkshire, UK.
According to the company, it is working on further developments in electric propulsion and hopes that the Airlander 10 will be the first large-scale aircraft to achieve zero emissions flight.
Photos courtesy Hybrid Air Vehicles