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History of ballooning | Our Story

Follow the history of ballooning with ABC, since 1986 -

1986: Nick Langley checked out and gained his Commercial Pilot Licence. Nick joins Telford based Airship & Balloon Company.
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
2003: Company Buyout by Nick Langley forming Airship & Balloon Company
2004 - 2015: Major sponsorship contracts with Tesco, Lloyds Bank, Soothers,
Churchill Insurance,, Procter & Gamble, Nokia, Clairol,, 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 was Saga, Japan in late October.
2020: We started the year with a trip to Penang, Malaysia, with our Minion balloon and had several exciting projects already lined up for later. Covid-19 has caused the suspension of all balloon festivals worldwide, but we have great plans for 2021!
2021: Despite another Lockdown at the beginning of the year, we took delivery of a very exciting Special Shape for KAWS, the American tree artist. We filmed the first flight at a secret location and the video of this was launched on-line, in April. Stuart the Minion made a memorable flight at the start of Bristol Balloon Festival from Queen Square, in Central Bristol during August. We launched another brand new balloon for Tata Communication Services - tcs - at the start of the London Marathon, as tcs announced a six year sponsorship agreement for the Event.
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82, Henbury Road,
Bristol BS10 7AA

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