Getting the flavor of…
The return of luxury dirigibles
If all goes well, the first commercial voyage of the world’s largest aircraft will be “unmistakably an elite experience,” said Henry Mance in the Financial Times. The Airlander 10, a blimp-like craft that’s as long as a football field, recently completed enough test flights that a Swedish company began booking 2023 trips to the North Pole at $79,000 per passenger. The U.K.-built vessel, nicknamed “the flying bum” because of its funky shape, is one of several airships being developed by firms that are betting that luxury travel can make the new zeppelins more profitable than the previous century’s. The large cabin, at least in prototype form, “resembles a superyacht,” with its own lounge and a bar. But the main appeal is the chance for a bird’s-eye view, from just 1,000 feet, of icebergs, whales, and polar bears. The ship will land at the pole for lunch in the snow before turning back. And pop open a window if you want to; the cabin isn’t pressurized.