Virgin Balloon Flights has a beautiful fleet of big, red iconic balloons that have been flying over Bristol, Bath and South Wales for as long as we have at Bailey Balloons.
Here’s a nostalgic look at some of our old balloons. Sadly the large passenger ones have been retired but you might still see some of our smaller balloons flying over the region in future.
Xledger is a wonderful large balloon which is 400,000 cubic feet. This balloon was built in October 2021 and first took to the skies in April 2022.
The Anana Balloon joined us in 2013 and has taken many flights since then. Anana is a company based in Bristol which provides specialist Call Centre Solutions and Systems Integration for Carrier and Enterprise Clients around the world for Customer Interaction Management. The maiden flight of this balloon took place in Switzerland at the Chateau d’Oex Balloon Fiesta, Janaury 2013. Look out for the Anana balloon flying over Bristol, Bath and South Wales. This balloon can also be hired exclusively for 4-6 people
Owned by EDF Energy and operated by Bailey Balloons, the EDF energy balloon is used for exclusive balloon flights for two from our main launch sites or from other launch sites by special arrangement. It can also be seen at many events held around the country, including Bristol Balloon Fiesta and the London Marathon. Bailey Balloons have operated balloons for SWEB (now EDF Energy) for 20 years.
We are pleased to operate the Discovery Channel Balloon, sponsors of 2005 and 2006 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. In 2005 Clive Bailey flew from the main arena at the fiesta with Ian Ashpole suspended underneath the balloon sitting on a Chopper Motorbike, Ian leapt of at 3,500 feet and parachuted safely down. Sky News filmed the stunt live. The balloon is used for exclusive flights.
The BASS special shape balloon. New in 2005. At the 2005 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, this balloon made history with the Highest Pint Pulled. A beer engine was installed and the Captain of Bristol Rugby Team pulled a pint 3,500ft above Bristol. Bass sponsored the Night Glow at the Bristol Fiesta. Clive Bailey is also Flight Director for the event.
Another Balloon made by Cameron’s in Bristol. Flown by Bailey Balloons originally for D S Smith Packaging. This picture was taken in Chateau d’Oex, Switzerland in 2005 where the balloon made its maiden voyage. This balloon holds 5 – 6 passengers and can be hired exclusively- it now has no artwork on it. You can fly from Bristol, Bath, South Wales or other launch sites by arrangement.
This balloon has space for a banner and has been used for filming for the BBC One Show and BBC1 Glorious Gardens from Above series amongst many other shows.
We also use this balloon to support St Peter’s Hospice which is an amazing Bristol-based charity. It is very close to our hearts, due to the wonderful care they have provided for our close family and friends. It caters for adults with life-limiting illnesses and their aim is to improve the quality of living and dying as well as well as supporting family and close friends at people’s homes as well as at the hospice. This is all provided free of charge, but costs them around £20,000 a day, most of this money comes from Gifts in Wills, donations, fundraising and from their shops.