Hot Air Balloon Cost – A Basic Breakdown
So, How Much Does A Hot Air Balloon Cost?
If you have always wondered how much does a hot air balloon cost then look no further! As you might expect, the cost of a hot air balloon can vary drastically. Much like buying a car, there is significant variety in manufacturers and models of balloon which consequently all have different prices attached. Additionally, there is a highly active second-hand market for balloons which can bring the cost down for pilots. But generally speaking, a typical hot air balloon cost anywhere between £80,000 and £250,000 from new.
What Do You Get For Your Money?
You might be shocked at the price and thinking that balloons are highly overpriced. But in reality, you are getting a significant amount of specialist equipment for your money. Typically speaking the price should cover a hand-crafted natural wicker basket, a strong yet lightweight nylon envelope, a sufficient number of stainless steel gas tanks, a set of stainless steel burners, a powerful inflation fan, and all the mandatory rigging and ropes. Combined, all of these purpose built components ensure that the pilot and passengers’ safety is confidently ensured – which in our eyes makes a hot air balloon cost justifiable.
Although a balloon may be considered good value for money, the high cost can still be detrimental for balloon operators. Therefore, many balloon operators seek a sponsor for their balloons – especially larger rides balloons. This means that businesses can advertise on the balloon, as demonstrated by Audi below, in exchange for helping cover the cost of the balloon. This is a particularly popular method in the UK and presents a new and unique marketing method for the sponsors involved.
Where Are Hot Air Balloons Made?
Hot air balloons are predominantly made by a handful of manufacturers around the globe. The most well-known manufacturers include Camerons, Lindstrand, Kubicek and UltraMagic. These big four make up the majority of balloons in use. Cameron Balloons, based in Bristol, is the world’s biggest manufacturer of hot air balloons and ships new orders to pilots in all corners of the globe. The innovative manufacturer also recently constructed the world’s largest hot air balloon as well as the first solar powered hot air balloon! Extraordinarily, some individuals may choose to build their own balloons at home, following highly detailed guidelines and strict requirements as to not compromise safety.
Traditionally hot air balloons are tear-drop shaped. However, in some circumstances they are shaped to represent a character or an object, for example the Chubb fire extinguisher pictured below. As you might expect, these one-off projects come at a premium price and can cost up to £400,000 depending on the extent of the intricacies and size. Similarly, many special shape hot air balloons are commissioned by sponsors for promotional purposes, which brings the cost down significantly.