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Air Nostrum has ordered 10 Airlander 10s
Air Nostrum has ordered ten Airlander 10s. Image: Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd

Bedford-based Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) have said they will remain in Bedford after rumours circulated they were moving their operation to South Yorkshire.

The concerns came as HAV announced a new production facility in Doncaster, which would create 1,800 new jobs.

The company has been quick to reassure locals, however, that it will still have a Bedford base.

“We are keeping our design office in Bedford and we will be recruiting for more roles in the Bedford area when our production programme launches,” said a spokesperson for HAV.

“We had good support when looking for a production home in Bedford, however, we need a lot of space and that proved not to be easy to find in the Bedford region.

“At the moment we are seeking to establish our production facility in the South Yorkshire region and look forward to providing an update on where that will exactly be in the near future.”

The Airlander 10 was once housed at Bedford’s famous airship sheds in Cardington and took its first flight from there on 17 August 2016.

Airlander10 over Cardington. Image: Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd
Airlander10 over Cardington. Image: Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd

When asked why a suitable area for HAV’s production facility could not be found, a Bedford Borough Council spokesperson said “…unfortunately this was not possible…”

They did say they have helped support the company in other ways.

“Bedford Borough Council has worked closely with Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited for a number of years including rewarding business rate relief and introducing them to potential investors in their early years…” Added the spokesperson.

The Doncaster facility will be used to build HAV’s Airlander 10 which uses a mix of helium and electricity to deliver up to 75% reduction in emissions over comparable aircraft.

Air Nostrum Group has already reserved ten 100-seat Airlander 10 aircraft for delivery from 2026 onwards.

“Airlander is designed to deliver a better future for sustainable aviation services, enable new transport networks and provide rapid growth options for our customers,” said Tom Grundy, CEO, Hybrid Air Vehicles

“Our partnership with Air Nostrum Group, 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 of domestic and short-haul flight, Hybrid Air Vehicles and Air Nostrum Group are demonstrating how we can get there, and get there soon.”

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