Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum, a franchise of Iberia, has ordered 10 Airlander 10 hybrid airships built by the British company Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. They hope to receive the vehicles, which are similar to blimps, in time for commercial passenger use in 2026. Among the routes slotted for the airships is Palma-Barcelona, which would carry up to 100 passengers between Mallorca and the mainland in just four hours.
Airships represent a viable alternative to airplanes because they require much less fuel. Additionally, larger cabin sizes mean more comfortable seating and amenities like bars and restaurants. Because the airships don’t need a runway to land, it’s even been suggested that they could carry travelers directly to hotels or other destinations.