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The Story Behind our Balloons

The Story Behind our Balloons

Our stunning Acacia Green and Savannah Gold hot air balloons are our crowning glory. Designed to reflect and merge into the African scenery, it’s a beautiful sight to behold as they fly over the landscape below.

We’re committed to ensuring our passengers fly with only the best quality balloons, and we make sure the materials come to good use once we’re finished with them. Here’s a little more information about them. 

What do the balloons consist of?

Our balloons consist of a stunning striped envelope, containing the heated air needed to fly, and a wicker basket to carry our passengers.

We started with 8-passenger balloons at first, but we soon took delivery of our first 16-passenger baskets, the largest commercial balloon in the world at the time.

How many flights does each balloon envelope take?

Our average flights last for around an hour, and after approximately 850 flights, we retire our balloon envelopes from service.

Our maintenance department take them thorugh a rigorous check every 50 hours even though the manufacturers' standard is 100 hours.  Although some balloon operators will continue to fly balloons with envelopes that have been flown for 1200 hours, we retire our balloons from service at 850 hours, despite the fact that they are still technically airworthy. They're just not up to our high standards anymore. To keep our pilots and passengers extra safe, we retire our envelopes well before the end of their service life, ensuring that every flight is as good as the last.

When booking a hot air balloon flight, you should always ask your operator how many hours they fly their balloons for, and never settle for a second-hand envelope.

What happens to the retired balloon envelopes?

Our policy means we never sell our envelopes to other commercial operators. Instead, we recycle our beautiful balloons so they can continue to serve the community. They’re often made into clothing such as shirts, jacket linings and bags for our equipment, but we’ve also used them for team building activities, as well as creating sunshade awnings.

We’re committed to doing our bit for the environment, and because we retire our envelopes early, it’s important to us to find useful ways for our envelopes to continue to help the community after they’ve finished flying.

Where do the baskets come from?

We have two manufacturers of wicker baskets based in the UK and Spain. Over the years, we’ve used our expertise and experience to help with the creation and development of the baskets’ safety features.

Our ideas and solutions ensure we only use state of the art equipment for our balloon flights, keeping our passengers safe and comfortable.

What happens to the baskets when they retire?

Similarly to our balloon envelopes, our wicker baskets work hard for us and we eventually retire them when they’ve done their job. To ensure they aren’t thrown away or destroyed, we donate them to be used as poultry houses, or for activities in school playgrounds.

As you can see, we care a lot about the design, production and recycling of our magnificent hot air balloons. This level of detail ensures we can continue to provide an excellent service for our customers.

If you’re interested in booking a hot air balloon safari, get in touch and we’ll help you plan your perfect trip.

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