The carrier has announced an airline reservation agreement with Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV).
The agreement sees the airline group reserve ten 100-seat HAV Airlander 10 hybrid aircraft for delivery from 2026, with a view to begin operations as launch airline. The deal followed six months of rigorous modelling by Air Nostrum Group and HAV into how the Airlander 10 could operate successfully on Spanish domestic routes. While the Air Nostrum Airlander 10 fleet is set for initial operations across Spain, HAV plans to launch production of the aircraft in South Yorkshire, UK.
“Airlander is designed to deliver a better future for sustainable aviation services, enable new transport networks and provide rapid growth options for our customers,” explains Carlos Bertomeu, president of Air Nostrum. “Our partnership as the launch airline for Airlander 10 leads the way towards that future. As countries like France, Denmark, Norway, Spain and the UK begin to put in place ambitious mandates for the decarbonisation ofdomestic and short haul flight, Hybrid Air Vehicles and Air Nostrum Group are demonstrating how we can get there – and get there soon.”
According to a report by CONNECT partner ch-Aviation, Air Nostrum will fly its Airlander 10s on short-haul routes to destinations not currently served by airlines and without airports. On short sector lengths, the airline believes the Airlander 10 will fit well with its existing conventional aircraft, which offer capacity between 50 and 100 seats. The 100-seat Airlander 10 is seen as a highly complementary to the fixed-wing fleet. The ch-Aviation fleets advanced module data reveals Air Nostrum currently operates a fleet of 47 planes from its bases in Spain, including eleven ATR72-600s, seven CRJ200s, and twenty-seven CRJ1000s, and two inactive CRJ900s. Air Nostrum primarily operates for Iberia (IB, Madrid Barajas) under the Iberia Regional brand on scheduled flights throughout Spain as well as to various destinations in Western Europe and North Africa.
The Airlander 10 currently in flight testing is using gas turbine engines, but HAV is working with Collins Aerospace and the University of Nottingham to develop electric propulsion for the aircraft. It is with the resulting engines that the Airlander 10 is scheduled to enter service.