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Passenger Blimp Flying--Britain's First in 49 Years

April 23, 1986|From Reuters

LONDON — A passenger airship service was launched over London today, the first in Britain since 1937, the year the German airship Hindenburg caught fire in the United States, killing 36 people.

British Aviation Minister Michael Spicer was one of the first passengers to board the Airship Industries Skyship on the 70-minute sightseeing trip over London.

The flight, for five passengers at 1,000 feet, costs $150 a person.

The last time a passenger airship operated in Britain was in 1937, when the German Graf Zeppelin, the Hindenburg's sister ship, flew from Rio de Janeiro to Europe.

Airship Industries said that it will make four flights a day until June 15 and that all 700 places have been snapped up, and there is a waiting list of 1,000.

"We have been absolutely staggered by the response," AI spokesman Algie Williams said. "As far as we know the oldest passenger is 94, and was a former crew member" of a British airship that made a double crossing of the Atlantic in 1919.

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