In the first year of Airlander 10 production, three slots will be reserved for commercial customers. OEM Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has also unveiled a full-scale demonstrator of the aircraft, to help prospective customers visualize its cabin.
This decision comes as demand has been growing rapidly in the commercial market, with interest coming from major cruise lines, hotel groups and tour operators. “We recognize that there is a lot of interest in purchase or lease of Airlander aircraft in the commercial market,” said Tom Grundy, executive director. “Our confidential conversations with customers in other sectors are progressing well and these customers could easily absorb our early production capacity. We have taken the decision to preserve three production slots to ensure that the first commercial operators of Airlander have an early opportunity to satisfy the significant public appetite for unique luxury travel experiences.”
The increased interest in the passenger variant of the Airlander 10 follows the launch of the concept cabin interior at Farnborough International Airshow in 2018. HAV has since brought a new commercial business development director, George Land, on board to address this demand and bring the first commercial Airlander 10s to market.
“The desire for the Airlander 10 in a variety of commercial tourism and hospitality markets is now clear,” said Land. “With a limited number of aircraft available as production capacity ramps up in the first years, holding three slots ensures that the first commercial operators to order aircraft will have an opportunity to take delivery of the Airlander 10 in the early 2020s.”
HAV is also supporting the development of facilities to offer leasing options and operational support for Airlander 10. These facilities open up additional ways for the commercial market to access the aircraft. “We’ve seen the growing trend toward experiential travel,” said Land. “Airlander 10 is the perfect platform for companies to provide their customers something unique and meet their business goals.”
Click here to read about the luxury cabin, developed with Design Q, as featured in the April 2019 issue of Business Jet Interiors International.