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Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 11:14 UK
Gloucestershire Airport begins hot air balloon flights


Gloucester Airport is believed to be the first in the UK to launch commercial hot air balloon flights

Gloucestershire Airport has begun operating hot air balloon flights from its Staverton site to... wherever the wind takes you!

It is understood to be the first airport in the UK to launch commercial hot air balloon flights.

The first flight took off from Staverton last Friday (9 April, 2010) and landed a short distance away at Cheltenham Ladies' College.

Flights will normally launch shortly after sunrise and a couple of hours before sunset, when conditions are usually best suited to ballooning.

"This is very unusual for us. Our passengers normally know their destination when they board a flight at Gloucestershire Airport but, with ballooning every flight is an adventure," said Kim Davenport, business development manager.

"Surely, there is no better way to see the Costwolds, the Severn Vale or the Malverns than from the peaceful serenity of a wicker basket, launched from your local airport?"

Flights, which are weather dependent, need to be pre-booked and cost around £140 per person.

Gloucestershire Airport is home to around 160 aircraft and handles around 90,000 flights per year. Regular destinations include the Isle of Man and Jersey.

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