Virgin Balloon Flights
|Virgin Balloon Flights|
|Industry||hot air balloon flights|
|Headquarters||Telford, Shropshire, United Kingdom|
Number of locations
|148 launch sites in the UK, 3 in Italy|
|United Kingdom, Italy|
Virgin Balloon Flights, with headquarters in Telford, Shropshire, began flying hot air balloons in 1987 and its passengers are still flown in red and white balloons with the Virgin Group logo emblazoned on the side of the balloon.
Virgin Balloon Flights own and operate the largest passenger carrying balloon service in the United Kingdom as well as the largest balloon fleet in the UK. The company has over 100 launch sites throughout the United Kingdom (including Crowborough, Shrewsbury and Castle Fraser), employs 24 pilots who carry out the balloon flights and is affiliated to the following organisations:
- Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
- British Balloon & Airship Club (BBAC)
- British Association of Balloon Operators (BABO)
Since 1997, Virgin Balloon Flights has been the trading name for AirXcite Limited.
In 2006 it acquired a N-355 balloon manufactured by Ultramagic. This new balloon, that takes a 355,000 cu ft (10,100 m3) of air and can carry a basket with up to 16 passengers, replaced a smaller Cameron 340 balloon.
Recently Virgin Balloon Flights expanded to Italy via the sister company of AirXcite, Ballooning in Tuscany, also owned by Kenneth Karlstrom. It now has 3 launch sites in Tuscany (Florence, Siena and Poggibonsi).
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