The world of travel is constantly moving forward at alarming rates. Ranging from the giant Boeing 747-8 to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, air travel has quite literally gone stratospheric. With time an ever more precious commodity people seem to be constantly looking for the quickest possible way to get from A to B. However this non-stop rushing around has some of us crying out for the days of a bygone era where travel could be enjoyed at a much more leisurely pace, where “long haul” meant the possibility of a luxurious journey of several weeks if not months as much an experience as the final destination – well at last our prayers are being answered. Harking back to the golden age of travel, when it was a glamorous affair where romances blossomed aboard ships crossing the Atlantic and entire families came to wish farewell to their loved ones, British Airways is bringing back the iconic rigid airship…

With their inaugural flights at the turn of the 20th century, the rigid airship or dirigible is no newcomer to the world of air travel. The most famous was the Graf Zeppelin which enjoyed its heyday before commercial flights were available to the public, and its first voyage across the Atlantic in just 111 hours and 44 minutes opened up a whole new world of possibilities. In 1932 the first regular passenger service between Europe and South America commenced, meaning that it took just days instead of the usual weeks by ship to arrive, covering the distance from Frankfurt to Rio de Janeiro in just 68 hours. By its retirement in 1937 the flagship LZ127 had clocked up over a million miles. The sight of the airship arriving in Rio de Janeiro was a jaw dropping moment and one that we’re very excited to see happen again.

800px-Hangar_de_ZeppelinsFor Dehouche, Rio is always the obvious choice of destination but what makes it even more suitable for the latest feat in aviation is that fact that the city is home to one of the last remaining Zeppelin hangars –at the privately operated Bartolomeu de Gusmão Airport. The hangar has seen better days but since British Airways have got their hands on it, its former glory has started to shine through. In a similar style to Terminal 5 at Heathrow, Bartolomeu de Gusmão airport will have all the latest mod-cons from designer duty-free shops to gourmet eateries, and most importantly as it is purely the home of the BA London-Rio airship service there is none of the stress or hustle and bustle of busier commercial airports.

The re-introduction of the rigid airship is of course going to include some modern day updates, the original service was described by many as being ‘far less comfortable than the luxury liners that crossed the Atlantic between London and New York’, this has been one of the first things to change. The new service will travel the 9,200km between London and Rio de Janeiro in just under 4 days. Whilst this is considerably longer than the current 12 hours it takes to fly between the two cities the luxuriousness of the experience will more than make up for the time difference. British Airways are pulling out all the stops to ensure that no box goes unchecked, from celebrity chefs and fine wines to onboard spas and designer shopping. The airship will fly once a month and with berths for just 40 passengers this is going to be an exclusive service where your every need is catered to. Flights for the first few months have been selling fast showing that although we claim to be rushed for time in today’s 21st century world, many of the “money-rich time-poor” will still grab at the unique chance to spend four days gently floating above the Atlantic out of reach of the outside world.

The British Airway’s Airship accommodations are a far cry from your usual cramped airplane conditions. In terms of seat width we’re no longer talking mere extra inches but extra feet, in the shape of actual VI-spring queen size beds (or king size if flying in the “Concorde” cabins) with 3,420 springs to give the optimum cushioning for the perfect night’s sleep through any flying conditions.

BritishAirwaysRigidAirshipDehouche have exclusively obtained 4 of the 12 Club World Berths and 2 of the 8 “Concorde” Cabins which come with the new British Airways “Mr Carson” private butler service. For members of British Airways Executive Club there are of course extra perks with Gold members dining at the captain’s table and Silver and Bronze members enjoying increased baggage allowances of 2 trunks and 4 suitcases weighing up to 300kg, so wave goodbye to those pesky overweight luggage charges. When it comes to onboard dining no expense has been saved and BA have truly taken their motto ‘To Fly. To Serve’ to extra lengths as two Michelin starred Tom Kerridge has agreed to design the menu and will be the on-board Chef de cuisine for the maiden crossing. The inaugural flight will take place this summer with flights running for a trial period of just one year until the World Cup starts. Over half the places have already been sold including to a few famous names such as rock star Jimmy Page and aviation fanatic John Travolta.

Floating into the Cidade Maravilhosa on an airship is the latest in luxury travel and if you want to be one the pioneers in this new frontier contact Dehouche to secure your seat today.


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