Up, Upcycled And Away - Giving Retired Hot Air Balloons A New Lease Of Life

Could you give a new life to an old hot air balloon?

Our retired balloon envelopes can get a bit lonely when they can’t fly anymore but while they’re long past their days in the sky, there’s plenty of life left in them for epic upcycling projects.

Here at Virgin Balloon Flights, we re-use as many of our old balloons as we can once they reach their maximum flying hours. We line our big barn workshop walls with them and use them as dust sheets when storing our giant balloon baskets for the winter.

Some of our balloon fabric has also gone to the wonderful entrepreneurs supported by charity TERN (The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network), while other pieces found a new life with New Baginnings as gorgeous, handmade purses and bags.

But we just know there are people out there who could do even more with them, which is why we’re inviting YOU to tell us what you would turn our beautiful big red balloon fabric into.

Up, Up-Cycled And Away – The Fine Print

Application Process and Usage:

AirXcite Ltd (trading as Virgin Balloon Flights) invites individuals, businesses and organisations to apply for a full hot air balloon envelope to be used for the following purposes:

The balloon fabric, can not be used by any applicant to create/build another working hot air balloon, commercial or private.

* Please note, that the Balloon fabric is not waterproof.

Applicants apply by filling in the form here on the Up, Upcycled and Away web page.

Each application will be assessed by Virgin Balloon Flights and we will aim to contact the successful applicants with a decision within 28 days. Should Virgin Balloon Flights need more information to assess the application, we will aim to be in touch with the relevant applicant within 14 days to request those details.

Decisions on whether or not to approve an application lie with Virgin Balloon Flights alone in our absolute discretion and some uses will not be deemed acceptable for various reasons, including but not limited to plausibility and practicality of use.

If an application is not deemed to be acceptable by Virgin Balloon Flights, that decision or the reasons for that decision do not have to be shared with the applicant.

Virgin Balloon Flights’ decision on whether or not to donate any section of its balloon envelopes following an application is absolute and final.

All applicants must be based on the UK mainland in order for their application to be considered.

Exclusion of Liability

Neither Virgin Balloon Flights, Sir Richard Branson or any member of the Branson family nor any member of the Virgin group of companies, takes any responsibility for any applications that are lost, delayed, corrupted, damaged, incomplete or otherwise invalid and will not be responsible for any technical fault or failure which prevents a person from submitting an application.

Neither Virgin Balloon Flights, Sir Richard Branson or any member of the Branson family nor any member of the Virgin group of companies will be liable for any issues applicants and/or their companies or businesses may experience with the envelope fabric they successfully applied for, or for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking part in the campaign.

In approving an application for our retired hot air balloon envelope material, neither Virgin Balloon Flights, Sir Richard Branson or any member of the Branson family nor any member of the Virgin group of companies provides any warranty or guarantee as to the fabric being fit for purpose for the applicant’s proposed use and shall not be held liable should the fabric prove not to be fit for the proposed purpose of the applicant.

Virgin Balloon Flights reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend these terms or to amend or cancel the campaign at any time and without notice. No liability shall attach to Virgin Balloon Flights, Sir Richard Branson or any member of the Virgin group of companies as a result thereof.


VIRGIN, VIRGIN BALLOON FLIGHTS and the Virgin Signature logo (the “Virgin Marks”) are registered trade marks of Virgin Enterprises Limited (“VEL”) and are used by Virgin Balloon Flights under licence.

The Virgin Marks (including all or any part of the Virgin Balloon Flights logo) may not be used either in part or in their entirety by any applicant and/or their business.

In applying for the balloon fabric, the applicant and their associated business agree that any parts of the Virgin Signature logo or Virgin Balloon Flights logo remaining on any fabric must be either removed or used in such a way that it is not recognisable as a Virgin logo.

Use of the Virgin Marks (including the Virgin Balloon Flights brand) to promote any product created from the balloon fabric is prohibited, save as otherwise agreed in advance in writing with both VEL and Virgin Balloon Flights.

Delivery/Transport of Fabric:

In applying for a retired Virgin Balloon Flights envelope under the Up, Upcycled and Away scheme, the applicant agrees to either arrange collection of the donated fabric themselves or to cover the cost of postage/delivery.

If the applicant requests that Virgin Balloon Flights arrange delivery/postage of the fabric, the applicant agrees to reimburse Virgin Balloon Flights for those costs prior to the fabric being dispatched.

Data protection:

Any personal data provided to Virgin Balloon Flights will be used solely in accordance with Virgin Balloon Flight’s privacy policy and UK data protection legislation.