At 92m long, the Airlander 10 is the world’s largest aircraft. The giant helium airship was designed to be used for military reconnaissance over Afghanistan. But Cambridge Consultancy Services (CCS) want to set up the first business to own and operate the Airlander 10 as a commercial enterprise. They asked us to help pinpoint the most promising sector and market for a new venture, and to build the business case to secure vital early investment.
We began by exploring a range of possible uses for the airship, looking at sectors such as haulage, tourism, surveillance and the military. Our technology expertise helped us really understand what the airship is capable of. We also developed financial projections to compare potential cash flow from different options, and start narrowing them down.
Tourism emerged as the front-runner. So we launched a new phase of research to build a picture of the competitive environment and the practicalities of operating an airship for tourists in different regions. We built pricing models, interviewed experts and used social media to understand consumer interest – all to help CCS make the right decision on where to launch.
With the Middle East market showing greatest potential, we built a full business case for a venture offering pleasure trips to tourists in Dubai. CCS are now using this to help secure the first tranche of investment – some $30 million – to launch their new business. The rigorous analysis by our strategy experts is playing a vital role in winning the confidence of potential investors and turning CCS’s airship ambition into reality.
"The PA report was extremely thorough and tested a number of assumptions that had hitherto not been fully validated. The PA team were also extremely versitile in their approach, enabling a number of other options to be considered that exceeded the original brief. Realising the potential of such an innovative aircraft design will take time, however, having PA involvement from an early stage will undoubtedly build investor confidence."
Justin Holt, Director