Anyone who is self-respecting buys a yacht. Who is even more self-reliant, a yacht hanging from an airship. The Swiss company AirYacht is pursuing such a concept with a vehicle of the same name.
The 200 meter long airship will be filled with helium and driven in a hybrid way, i.e. with an electric motor and a combustion engine, but not with fuel cells. The yacht is attached to the airship by wire ropes and can be lowered onto water or land and pulled up again. It should correspond to a conventional 60-meter yacht – with the difference that it does not have its own drive and would therefore have to be towed.
The project was conceived in 2017 by Guillaume Hoddé, who previously worked at McKinsey and then in the luxury goods sector for ten years, and Matthieu Ozanne, who previously worked for PSA and Nespresso; both are engineers. They plan to deliver the first AirYacht in 2026. Since the lead time for the production of an AirYacht is four years, it is about time to realize the project. If that happens, up to four AirYachts should be able to be manufactured annually.
Financing round in progress
Since AirYacht has so far been financed from private sources – industrial partners have also provided help with technology and design – the founders are currently talking to potential investors in Europe and the USA, Hoddé explained to heise online. A round of financing is expected to be completed by the middle of this year.
There are already interested parties who would buy an AirYacht, said Hoddé, who is responsible for business as CEO. In addition to private prospects, he is also turning to cruise companies that could open up a new market with the AirYacht, to a certain extent for air cruises.
Up to twelve people can be accommodated in six cabins on board the AirYacht, plus three flight crew members and twelve employees. The yacht has a total area of 1100 m² on three floors, of which 750 m²2 covered. 60 m² are reserved for the owner, as well as a terrace with 110 m². The AirYacht will also have a fitness room, a sauna and a swimming pool as well as a landing pad for a helicopter.
Hoddé heise online has not yet been able to name a specific price. It will possibly move in the range that would also apply to a conventional yacht with a length of 80 or 90 meters. The price is likely to be in the three-digit million range.