Some of our pilots have arrived back in the UK after the annual Virgin Balloon Flights training and assessment camp in Mondovi, Northern Italy, during January.

Each year we organise the winter event in Cuneo in the shadow of the alps so pilots can do their baseline checks, required by the Civil Aviation Authority, and catch up before the new UK season begins.

It also gives pilots who are moving up to a larger balloon a chance to take advantage of the excellent flying conditions and complete their assessment. This year the weather was particularly kind and everything was achieved in good time.

Customer service rep and operations assistant Ryan Laing accompanied the group of pilots to assist on the trip and took a few snaps while he was out there.

Ryan said: “It was a fun week learning more about the other side of Ballooning, especially how much time it takes before and after flights, setting everything up and packing away and then refuelling ready for the next flight. The flying itself was spectacular with good views of the Alps. It was great to meet the new pilots who have joined us.”

Meet some of our Virgin balloon pilots here.

If you fancy a balloon ride in Italy, you can fly with our sister company Ballooning in Tuscany.