We’ve had a wonderful 2013 here at Virgin Balloon Flights. Thanks goes out to all our pilots and all those who flew with us this year. We hope you had an amazing experience. To round up, we thought we’d share our best bits of 2013 – bear with us, there are too many to choose from.
Cast your minds back to January of this year when we welcomed Essex pilot Tim Parker to the Virgin Balloon Flights team. Thanks for all your hard work Tim and crew, here’s to a busy 2014.
Just in time for Valentines, we unveiled a brand new launch site at Gretna Green in February. Pilot Peter Philpot will be happy to welcome you aboard at the start of the new season.
February also saw the arrival of a new member of the marketing team at VBF HQ. Rob McQuattie joined us as Digital Marketing Executive.
March saw the country coated in a blanket of snow, not quite what we bargained for at the beginning of our flying season.
On the days it was safe to fly, our pilots and passengers were treated to some of the most spectacular wintry views. Here’s an flight photo of Dave Sutcliffe and his 16 passengers flying over the city of York.
After the cold snap in March, the spring air brought with it our first in-flight engagement of the season in April. Kayleigh Wilcox captured the moment of her engagement to her husband to be on their flight over Hampshire on Easter Sunday.
We added our most northerly launch site to the list in May. Fyvie Castle, in Aberdeenshire, holds lots of visual treats for passengers and pilots. Steeped in history, the castle and surrounding area is a popular one with our flyers.
June saw the launch of the Love our Landscape campaign. Six months later and we’re well on our way to achieving our fundraising targets for projects benefiting the rural landscape and its communities. We also launched our annual landscape photo competition this month – we had over 500 entries.
Along with soaring temperatures, July brought a time for celebration at Virgin Balloon Flights.
Staff at our HQ in Shropshire celebrated Mandela Day and raised hundreds of pounds for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Here’s a snap of our staff enjoying a few Virgin (non-alcoholic) cocktails.
July 2013 was one of the sunniest and warmest months since records began back in 1910. The heatwave brought us fantastic flying conditions.
Members of the marketing team went to visit Cameron Balloons – the oldest balloon manufacturer in the world.
Bristol Balloon Fiesta was held at the beginning of August. We took one of our largest hot air balloons to the event to whisk passengers skywards on a Champagne balloon flight.
We welcomed Alexandra to the marketing team at HQ as PR and Marketing Assistant at the end of August.
Our pilots in Scotland took part in the RAF Leuchars Airshow in September. Celia Morley and Martin Cowling spoke to spectators about the beauty of flying in Scotland and the ways in which you can become a hot air balloon pilot.
Shaun Howells, our Customer Service Supervisor, was named Virgin Star of the Year. He attended a glitzy awards night at Sir Richard Branson’s family home in Oxfordshire.
Virgin Balloon Flights staff got all hot and sweaty in November when we cycled 230 miles to raise money for Children in Need. We made over £300 for the charity. Well done to everyone who took part and donated.
Christmas came to Virgin Balloon Flights. In between packaging up and posting out your special parcels, we chose the winner of the Love our Landscape photo competition.
Well done goes to Joe Stockdale. His winning photograph, taken on a Virgin Balloon Flight over the Lake District, wowed all of our judges.
Joe’s photo, along with eleven runners up feature in the Love our Landscape 2014 calendar. To purchase a copy, follow the link.
The photo competition winners and judges attended a prize-giving at the Shropshire Wildlife Trust in Shrewsbury this month. Everyone enjoyed a mince pie, a good cuppa and a closer look at the final twelve images.
And finally, all that’s left to say is…