Balloon News | Airship & Balloon Company Ltd.

See the latest balloon news from ABC. Although Covid-19 has caused the postponement of many balloon festivals, we have great plans for 2021, including the launch of an exciting new Special Shape.

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 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.
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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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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September 2017

360 degree interactive video, of Prison Stuart, Minion Special Shape Balloon, flown by ABC during 2017.

August 2017

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta was a massive success for Airship & Balloon Company Clients and passengers from ABC Flights. The weather was patchy to start the Fiesta, but soon gave us memorable flights and massive crowds - 400,000 visitors over 3 days. Social Media went mad - even Carol Vorderman joined in!

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Summer 2017

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

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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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Stuart the Minion on Tour - 2017

Following our Cross Channel flight with Prison Stuart, we toured Europe, visiting Germany, Belgium, Spain, UK, France, Italy and Netherlands, during the summer. The reception we received was amazing and Stuart made lots of new friends. We visited Bonn, Waregem, Igualada, Metz, Todi, Bristol, Twente, Sint Niklaas and Warstein were extraordinary events to attend and ABC would like to thank everyone for their support.

During the Tour we've met some great people and flown in some fabulous locations. Stuart has been photographed by thousands of people and he has met lots of Minion supporters!
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April 2017

Virgin London Marathon was a great success for ABC's balloons - we appeared live on BBC and were seen at the Start Line on Blackheath Common, by 50,000 runners!

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Airship & Balloon Company Ltd.
82, Henbury Road,
Bristol BS10 7AA
Registered in England & Wales: No 03425257