British-made helium airships to fly tourists in Spain in green aviation boost

Reasons why the UK could face a summer of travel misery

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Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) , a small company based in Bedford, announced it had signed a deal to provide 10 of its unique helium airships to a Spanish airline. The airships can carry 100 passengers.

The company says the aircraft will have a tenth of the carbon footprint per passenger of jet planes.

They will be built a new green manufacturing aerospace in South Yorkshire in what could be a boost for green aviation.

The business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Hybrid aircraft could play an important role as we transition to cleaner forms of aviation, and it is wonderful to see the UK right at the forefront of the technology’s development.

“This agreement enhances the possibility of the revolutionary, British-made and designed, Airlander 10 aircraft flying across Spanish skies.

“It is more proof of how the UK’s businesses are embracing new technology to drive growth and support high skilled UK jobs.”

HAV says the aircraft will have a carbon footprint of around 4.5kg per passenger compared to a jetplane’s 53kg per passenger.

Spanish carrier Air Nostrum is hoping to put the airships in the air by 2026 in what could be an exciting innovation for air travel.

Carlos Bertomeu Air Nostrum’s president, said: “The Airlander 10 will drastically reduce emissions and for that reason we have made this agreement with HAV.

“Sustainability, which is good news for everyone, is already a non-negotiable fact in the daily operations of commercial aviation.”

The airline did not say which routes it would use the planes but it could be used on internal Spanish routes.

This could include trips from Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca which according to HAV would take around four and a half hours.

HAV has said its model is suited to inter-city travel and could be used for journeys between Belfast and Liverpool or inter-city routes in the US.

Tom Grundy CEO of HAV, said: “Airlander is designed to deliver a better future for sustainable aviation services, enable new transport networks and provide rapid growth options for our customers.

“Our partnership with Air Nostrum Group, as the launch airline for Airlander 10, leads the way towards that future.”

The ship was initially designed to serve as a surveillance vehicle for intelligence gathering in Afghanistan.

The company is hoping to sell 265 Airlander craft over the next 20 years.

As the world struggles to combat climate change, many airlines are looking for greener options.

Air travel is one of the world’s top pollutants and accounts for around two percent of all carbon emissions.

Many airlines have made pledges to reduce carbon emissions in the next decade but progress has been slow.

First class tickets emit on average four times more emissions than an economy seat on the same plane.

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