History of Ballooning | Our Story
Airship & Balloon Company identified the opportunity to use hot air balloon marketing in the mid 1980s and has been successful ever since.
1987: Airship and Balloon Company joins Richard Branson's Virgin Group of companies.
1989: Name changed to Virgin Airship and Balloon Company
1991: Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand cross the Pacific in a hot air balloon
1997: BBC launches new BBC One ident., using Special Shape hot air balloon.
Hasbro celebrate Action Man with the worlds most complicated hot air balloon.
1998: ICO Global Challenger attempts non stop flight around the world from Marrakech - Video link
2004 - 2015: Major sponsorship contracts with Tesco, Lloyds Bank, Soothers,
Churchill Insurance, Monster.com, Procter & Gamble, Nokia, Clairol, Expedia.com, Lucozade.
Management of balloons at Start of Virgin London Marathon.
Approved Supplier status to BBC TV for Aerial Filming.
Public Transport balloon flights company ABC Flights Ltd. formed and approved by Civil Aviation Authority - Air Operator Certificate BL212.
European Tour with Despicable Me2 special shape balloons, for Universal Pictures block buster film.
2016: TATA Consultancy Services joins ABC’s list of Clients with brand new balloon, launched at Virgin London Marathon.
2017: Newly branded balloon for Abbott unveiled at Virgin London Marathon and European Tour for Despicable Me3 movie launched, with flight across English Channel with Prison Stuart, for Guinness World Record attempt. Minion Tour visited 8 European Countries.
2018: New balloon commissioned for Audible, launched at the Virgin London Marathon. Minion attends Taiwan International Balloon Festival - the world's longest balloon event at 45 days
2019: Stewart the Minion visits Taiwan again and wowed a big crowd, just outside Taipei. Next trip for Minion is Saga, Japan in late October.
2020: We started the year with a trip to Penang, Malaysia, with our Minion balloon and had several excitement projects already lined up for later. Covid-19 has caused the suspension of all balloon festivals, but we have great plans for 2021, with a brand new special shape currently being built, to be launched in January.