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Balloon news | Airship & Balloon Company

On this page we will keep you up to date with all of our hot air balloon news. From new Clients and new balloons to hot air balloon events which we will be attending this year.

June 2023 - Upwey House, Dorset - we tethered our rainbow balloon at the Wedding of Jenny & Mark.
"Hi Nick

Just wanted to say a whole-hearted thank you from Jenny and I to yourself, Kevin and Ian.

Your balloon really brought a magical dynamic to the evening that wowed the guests and caused much joy. 

Also thank you for our wedding gift. A really nice touch. 

Wishing you all the best for the future.

Jenny and Mark.

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It was great working with photographer Anna McCarthy at Mark & Jenny's wedding - check out her website and follow her on IG - @annamccarthyphotography

On stunning summer evening, evening we attended a wedding near Stevenage, Hertfordshire, and tethered our beautiful rainbow coloured balloon G-BTHF for Izzie. We were on site from 18:00 Hrs and the wind was very strong all evening. At 21:15 the wind dropped out completely and we were able to take the Bride and Groom up in the balloon for a tethered flight and some excellent pictures. Afterwards, we gave tethered flights to a further 50 guests as the sun was setting - a truly lovely evening for everyone.

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First flight of 2022

It was great to take the ABC Cloudhopper for a flight around Ashton Court this morning. Cold and frosty, but spectacular views of Bristol.

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May we wish all of Customers and friends a Happy 2022 and let's hope we beat Coronavirus! Stay safe from everyone at ABC.

It's Official .....

Airship & Balloon Company have been selected by the big man himself to supply transport for this year's Father Christmas deliveries.

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Happy Halloween!

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She said 'YES'!

It's so nice to fly passengers, when a surprise proposal happens.

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London Marathon - 2021

Both Abbott and TCS balloons attended this year's Virgin London Marathon on Blackheath Common and despite a gusty wind Pilots Sue Carden and Nick Langley kept the Sponsors' balloons tethered from 08:00 - 10:30, which was pretty remarkable, given the forecast 24 hours earlier. The new TCS balloon was officially launched at the event, to celebrate TCS taking over as Title Sponsor of this amazing event for the next 6 years.

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Camp Wildfire

For 2 consecutive weekend in early September, ABC attended Camp Wildfire 2021, near Sevenoaks, Kent, with one of our bannered balloons. We gave short flights to over 200 people each weekend and were again blessed with fantastic weather in a deep valley, adjoining the main activity site. Late night party-goers turned up as early as 05:30, to ensure that they didn't miss their allocated flying slot. A good time was had by all.

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More details on the activities available at Camp Wildfire can be found here -

Bristol Fiesta Fortnight - August 1st. - 15th.

Although the Pandemic caused the Fiesta organisers to develop a different type of event this year, we were delighted with the response from spectators and the 'Bristol Public'. Groups of balloons took off from multiple launch sites around the City at the same time and ABC ws invited to launch our Minion special shape from Queen Square, with a member of the Costa Coffee sponsorship team as our passenger. The view was extraordinary, with balloons airborne from 4 points of the compass and we do hope that this can be repeated in 2022. We also flew some of our regular passengers in our passenger balloon over the weekend, including Bridgete and Gemma - 5 years in a row for them! Thanks to the organising committee and particualrly REM, who worked tirelessly to make this year happen. See you all in August 2022.

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June 15th. - announcement from Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

We have taken the decision to change our plans of holding Bristol International Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court Estate in 2021, instead we are planning ‘Fiesta Fortnight’ with flypasts and ballooning spectaculars for the city this August.

G-KAWS - special shape balloon

May 17th. 2021
Another interesting job recently, was the filming of our new and very exciting Special Shape in a private location, which allowed us to free-fly and still keep the balloon details secret! We teamed up with Flying Pictures to use a GB Helicopters Squirrel Helicopter, with Pilot Will, DJI Inspire 2 drone and a couple of FPV drones. We managed to get all of the filming done with a couple of tethers and 3 free-flights, with perfect weather. All of the filming was in 4K and this is now being edited, prior to the on-line launch of the balloon in early May - watch the video by clicking the link
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Great to work with such a professional team!
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March 22nd. 2021
ITV asked us to tether one of our balloons for a TV commercial for Weight Watchers, for their Motivational Mondays feature on This Morning. We tethered the balloon in Ashton Court and the film crew recreated an outside 'studio set' for the presenters, complete with sofa. Weather was perfect and the whole shoot went well.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
March 17th. 2021

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March 1st. 2021

This extraordinary image was taken by long-term friend of ABC, professional photographer Chas Breton, at the launch of Breitling Orbiter 3 in Chateaux d'Oex, Switzerland, 21 years ago today!

This 55 metre tall Cameron Balloon went on to be the first balloon to fly around the world, with Pilots Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard in just 20 days.

It landed safely in Egypt, on March 21 and is now on display at the National Air & Space Museum, in Washington DC -

22/02/2021 - Lockdown being eased!
We were pleased to hear that some of the Lockdown Restrictions are being eased by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and that there is now a clear Roadmap defining the way out of the pandemic.

ABC has some exciting projects waiting to come on stream, including 2 filming jobs in March, so let's hope that the weather also improves and we can get back to what we are good at!

Stay safe from everyone at ABC.

Penang Balloon Festival - 2020

This great picture was taken by our good friend Alex Choi, at the 2020 Penang Balloon Festival, Malaysia, in January 2020. Alex visited all 9 balloon baskets, whilst we were tethering and took this clever selfie. We are bottom left hand corner in the Minion.
We had no idea the amount of destruction to lives, families, businesses and countries the Covid virus would create.
We are looking forward to seeing our international ballooning friends when things settle down - stay safe from everyone at ABC.
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2021 is looking brighter!
With the launch of the latest vaccine, it looks we may have turned the corner with Covid-19 although there is still a long way to go.
Most balloon events which were scheduled for early 2021, including the Alpine meet in Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland, have been cancelled, but we are looking to attend several European and Asian balloon festivals from Easter with our balloons.
Oh and don't forget Universal Pictures will be launching a new Minion Movie in summer 2021! You can see a great trailer here - Minions - the rise of Gru

Stay safe.
Happy New Year to everyone - let's hope this year is better than the last one!
Thank you to the BBC for an amazing alternative New Year's Eve celebration, broadcast midnight on December 31.
It was incredible, so please take a look if you can -
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Sky Orchestra - A Moment in Time
September 1, 2020

ABC was delighted to work alongside Luke Jerram and Dan Jones plus the Bristol Old Vic Theatre team, to fly one of our unbranded balloons in the Sky Orchestra, from Ashton Court Bristol -

Hot air balloons took to the skies this evening (1 Sept), serenading the public in Luke Jerram/Dan Jones collaboration
·        The music was newly commissioned for this project and performed by celebrated and emerging Bristol musicians
·        Members of Massive Attack and Portishead plus Bristol City Poet Vanessa Kisuule were among the contributors

Serenading people with specially commissioned new music, Sky Orchestra - A Moment in Time was conceived to offer hope for the future and showcase the creative talent of the city.
An arts project by renowned international Bristol artist Luke Jerram and Bristol-based BAFTA-winning composer Dan Jones,
Sky Orchestra - A Moment in Time featured the premiere of a new composition commissioned by Bristol Old Vic, played through speakers attached to the balloons, alongside live accompaniment.
The incredible line-up of Bristol musical and artistic contributors joining forces for the project included: Grant Marshall, founder member of Massive Attack,
Stew Jackson, current writer and producer for Massive Attack, and Adrian Utley, founder member of Portishead, all involved in either creating or playing on the soundtrack.
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Bristol Fiesta - Virtual NightGlow 2020
Although Covid-19 caused the cancellation of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, we were all determined to do something special with our hot air balloons and have worked with BBC and many volunteer individuals and companies to create a NightGlow to remember.
Our unbranded blue balloon was used to suspend Aerial Performer, Lyn Routledge, high up in the air for her performance
The BBC production was recorded 2 days earlier and was broadcast on Saturday August 8, when there should have been a NightGlow at Ashton Court.
Click this link to see the behind the scenes video shot by ABC.

You can see the NightGlow2020, which was streamed on BBC iPlayer by clicking the button below.

The dates for the next Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will be August 12-15, 2021

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Bristol Fiesta Flypast -
August 3, 2020

Although the organisers were forced to cancel the 2020 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, due to Covid-19, we really wanted to bring a smile to disappointed Bristolians. So this morning 42 balloons took off from Ashton Court, on a beautiful sunny morning and drifted south, over the City, with a fantastic view of Brunel's world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge behind us.
ABC Pilots, Nick Langley and Sue Carden, flew one of our unbranded balloons G-CIXU across
Bristol and enjoyed an hour of memorable flying - taking video and still images of the flight, our beautiful City and the other balloons.
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2020 Bristol Balloon Fiesta - update
Statement from the organisers - 07:00 Hrs. July 2, 2020

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Today is Star Wars Day 2020, so we thought we would bring a smile to your face.
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Statement from Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
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ABC Team Challenge - update!

Thanks to all of our generous supporters for donating to the Wallace & Gromit Appeal, supporting Bristol Children's Hospital. We raised £856 for Bristol Children's Hospital.

Happy 100th. Birthday Captain Tom!

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London Marathon charities need your help!
The Airship and Balloon Team should be tethering 3 hot air balloons at the London Marathon this Sunday for Clients, but are unable to attend, as it is one of the many charity events that has been postponed or cancelled as a result of Covid-19.

We wanted to show our support for the 2.6 Challenge being organised to try to raise funds for the many charities that are missing out of vital fundraising opportunities.

Our Team are taking on challenges including doing the splits 26 times, sleeping outdoors on the night of the 26
th April, staying awake for 26 hours, doing 26 keepy uppys and turning phones off for 26 hours!

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal, so it's the most efficient way to give - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

You can donate to our JustGiving page by clicking below:

Thank you and Stay Safe!

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2020 sees more travel for our Minion balloon, starting with Malaysia in January, when Stuart will attend Penang Balloon Festival.
We are looking forward to meeting our friends at AKA balloons, who invited us to attend. We will also be meeting up with Oh Bear again from Taiwan.
Look out for lots of pictures.
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Our team have now arrived back in the UK, thanks to state airline ANA, from a hugely successful appearance with Stuart The Minion in Saga, Japan. The Fiesta saw 920,000 spectators attend over the event and we had hundreds of people queueing up for their very own selfie with Stuart. Take a look at our Facebook and Instagram accounts for more photos of the fantastic Saga International Balloon Fiesta - @airshipballooncompany

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October 7, 2019
Despite the European balloon flying season coming to an end, we are off to Asia to take part in the Saga International Balloon Festival, in Japan from October 21st. Stuart the Minion was collected from Cameron Balloons today and will be taking part in the Special Shapes Fantasia and we are very excited to be attending this fantastic hot air balloon spectacular.

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We return on November 7 and are planning more adventures for Stuart, when the next Minion Movie : The Rise of Gru, is released summer 2021.
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2019 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Although the weather was not ideal, we had a great Press Flight on Thursday morning and almost 100 balloons flew across Bristol and many landed on The Downs, having crossed the Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge. Our ABC balloon carried BBC TV presenter Ali Vowles and photographer Nick Smith and we were able to fly alongside our Shield Environmental balloon - and were escorted by Darth Vader!
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Photos credit Nick Smith - thanks for agreeing to allow us to use these pictures.
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June 2019
we visited Taiwan again with Stuart the Minion, to attend a new Balloon Festival, just outside Taipei at a recreational resort, next to a massive lake. We tethered the balloon every day for 9 days and thrilled the visitors with a Night Glow at weekends.
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March 2019
We were invited to visit
Claremont School in Bristol, which caters for children with special educational needs, so we decided to give them a special treat and took our Stuart Round balloon, which is used as a support/media balloon for the Despicable Me Movies. The children loved being so close to the balloon and several hundred children from the adjoining Henleaze Junior School - which our Operations manager used to attend - also came to see the balloon. Extra special thanks for Teacher, Kim Cobbledick, who made it all happen.
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2018 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Despite the weather turning breezy over the Fiesta weekend, we were delighted with the TV and SM coverage which our balloons delivered for Clients Universal Pictures and Shield Environmental. We were live on
ITV and the Guardian carried a superb picture of both balloons tethered for the massive crowds. The free flight from Ashton Court to Durham Downs, where around 100 balloons landed, was memorable. A big thanks to the ABC Pilots and Crew from Sally, Bex and myself for your hard work.
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August 2018

Press Day at Bristol has been very busy today with BBC, ITV and Sky broadcasting live from Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
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August 8, 2018
Having arrived back in Bristol on Monday, after 3 weeks in Taiwan - and 2 very long aircraft flights - Stuart the Minion will be appearing at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta tomorrow. We are very excited that he is attending and hope that the weather is kind to us. One of his new friends will also be there.
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Also appearing at this year's Balloon Fiesta will be our new Client, Shield Environmental, who will have their branded balloon tethering and free-flying on Thursday and Friday.
July 15 2018

Stuart the Minion visited the Taiwan Balloon Festival in July and was the star of the show with hundreds of people each day, taking selfies at the basket. We did a live TV broadcast for national TV from the basket, on a very long tether and managed to include a picture of Pilot Nick Langley eating one of Stuart's favourite snacks - BANANA!

June 28 2018 - Stuart the Minion really 'wow'd the crowd' and we hope to be visiting Asia again in 2019.

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May 18, 2018
Stuart the Minion hot air balloon will be visiting Asia for the first time, when Airship & Balloon Company attend the Taiwan Balloon Festival. He will be the star of the show and will be floating above Taitung at various times from June 29 until July 15. Watch our Instagram feed for pictures of our favourite hot air balloon in this spectacular location.

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April 22, 2018 - Virgin London Marathon
For the tenth year, Airship & Balloon Company were appointed by
London Marathon to manage the hot air balloons, which have become a focal point for runners, spectators TV and media, at the Start,on Blackheath Common. This year's activity began with light winds and shallow fog, but finised with a strong and gusty wind which blew across the Heath. Pilots and crew worked very hard for almost 3 hours, controlling the massive balloons and used over 1,500 litres of Liquid Propane Gas.
Existing Clients, TATA and Abbott were in attendance, but this was the first appearance for our new client Audible and ABC was pleased to show Bryony and Ricky from Audible, their new marketing tool. Both were 'blown away' by the very distinctive balloon, which will be making future appearances at other large events.
Thanks to the ABC Crew, Sue, Chris, Richard, Robin, Claire, Kevin and Iain for your professionalism and hard work.
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March 2018 -
Becky Macfarlane joins ABC as Operations Manager. Becky has worked in Retail Management for the past 15 years but, uniquely, has been involved in hot air ballooning for all of her life having had her first flight in the late 1980s. Becky can be contacted at
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Summer 2017

Twente Balloon Festival, Netherlands - Stuart the Minion was the star of the show.

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Photos credit -Miriam Jurg, Cameron Balloons, Holland
April 2017

After 5 weeks on Standby, we flew our new Minion Balloon across the English Channel on April 7, as part of the
Guinness World Record attempt. The flight was amazing and Stuart the Minion generated worldwide publicity for our Client, Universal Pictures. Thanks to the ABC Flight Team, Sue, Robin and Graham, for all of your hard work - Nick Langley
Prison Stuart balloon and support vessel - with Minion landing pad - part way across the English Channel!
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