Airships could be making a comeback in the coming years as a climate-friendly alternative for shorter routes.
Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum has announced plans to integrate the hybrid airships into its schedule, replacing some of its shorter routes and connecting towns with no airfield. It also hopes that the vehicles’ ability to land on any flat surface will offer passengers the option to land in the middle of a city instead of airports located miles outside the town center.
Air Nostrum has already reserved ten Airlander Hybrid Airships from British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles. The partnership hopes to convert the entire fleet to full electric power by the end of the decade, offering an emission-free mode of travel for tourists.
The speed of the airships, which have not been used regularly for decades, will be capped at around 80 mph, but current trends suggest travelers are becoming more inclined to take slower methods of transport if they are both environmentally friendly and convenient.