2020 Regatta

Sadly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic The 2020 Lord Mayor’s Balloon Regatta® has been posted until 2021.

We had worked with our friends at Wandsworth Council who had been fabulous in their flexibility enabling us to have hope that the event may go ahead. We were confident that we could satisfy the council requirements and needs for social distancing whilst also safeguarding all teams and our own volunteer welfare with automated briefings and new launch site layout procedures.

The Balloon Regatta has become an integral part of the London community calendar, raising over £250,000 for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal in just four years. The event also raises the profile of the Appeal, together with the City of London and those connected to it. It is therefore imperative that any event maintains this high standard of professionalism that we, as an award winning event organiser,  have become recognised for. Our pilots, crew, volunteers and staff all rely on our good judgement to provide a safe environment for events to take place.

Among the factors for a safe event, we must take into account the length of time that many pilots will have been grounded. If the event had proceeded in July, it may very well be the first time some pilots and their equipment have flown in nine months. It is specifically this safety concern that led us to a very difficult decision which is the most appropriate, professional and responsible action as an organiser, to stand the event down until 2021.

We were confident that all of the participating pilots have sufficient experience to make a safe flight across London, but it simply is not prudent to dispatch a mass launch of balloons over a large city at this time. This is of course a decision which is both difficult and disheartening  to make, but we do know that all pilots and their teams will understand.

We would like to thank all of our pilots and crews, our volunteers, our friends at the Appeal, The Mansion House, The City of London Corporation, Wandsworth Council and of course all of our supporting Corporate Partners for their continued support and we look forward to a fabulous Balloon Regatta in 2021.

2019 Regatta



 This morning, Londoners woke up to the sight of hot air balloons filling the capital’s skyline as 46 took flight as part of the 2019 annual RICOH Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta®.

In an awe-inspiring display, the balloons took off en masse from Battersea Park at 5:15am this morning, the first-ever launch of its kind from this location. With the CEO of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal on board, the balloons flew over many of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, Cutty Sark, Greenwich, Canary Wharf and Thames Flood Barrier.

The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta® is quickly becoming a standout feature in London’s calendar and the annual event has raised an overall total of £250,634 to date. The funds raised for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal will support three inspirational charities: Samaritans, OnSide Youth Zones and Place2Be.

Founded and organised by the world’s leading aerial marketing specialists, Exclusive Ballooning, the Balloon Regatta® has been running since 2015 and has received continued support from headline sponsor RICOH along with the City of London Corporation.

Alderman Peter Estlin, Lord Mayor of London, comments: “The Lord Mayor’s Balloon Regatta® is quickly establishing itself as one of the cultural highlights associated with the City of London, creating breath-taking views across the capital’s iconic skyline. It brings together charity, community and commerce, everything that the City – and the Lord Mayor – is all about.

“Every year, the event raises awareness and money for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal charities. Over the next two years, the Appeal is focusing on three organisations: Place2Be, OnSide Youth Zones and Samaritans. All this work – supported by the Regatta, RICOH and other corporate partners – will work towards one aim: to build an inclusive, healthy skilled and fair City – A Better City for All.”

Andrew Holly, Operations Director and Balloon Regatta® Flight Director at Exclusive Ballooning, said: “We set up the Balloon Regatta® in support of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal as it was the perfect blend of London ballooning and charitable causes. Since our inception, we have used all resources available to us in order to help our clients raise money for charity. We are proud that so far, we have helped our clients raise over £8,000,000 for charity using hot air balloons.”

Chas Moloney, Marketing Director, RICOH UK, comments: “The Lord Mayor’s Balloon Regatta® is a testament to our continued commitment to empowering positive and sustainable change for people. Working with The Lord Mayor’s Appeal enables us to make a real difference within the communities of London, helping support charities and local businesses that tend to all facets of life – from mental wellbeing, to healthcare and technological growth and education. We take pride in helping drive these initiatives using our expertise and expect this year’s Regatta to highlight the phenomenal work and success achieved by all involved”.



The 2019 RICOH Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta®

We are delighted to confirm that the official standby dates for The 2019 RICOH Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta® are Sunday June 2nd, 9th, 16th and 30th.

For this year’s flight, our primary launch site will be Battersea Park and we will be flying from here if proceeding on June 2nd, 9th or 30th. If launching on June 16th, we will be flying from a different site and this location will be confirmed at the time. The prevailing wind from Battersea Park should allow for another stunning and unforgettable flight over Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, London Eye and Tower of London.

Due to the weather dependent nature of hot air ballooning, this event is on standby for a Sunday morning and will proceed on the first available date when the weather is suitable.

Please check this page and follow @HotAirEvents and @XBallooning for updates. A decision will be announced on each Friday before the standby date circa 4pm.

2018 Regatta

Thursday June 28th 2018

Due to unsuitable weather conditions and wind direction, we have taken the decision to stand down The RICOH Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta® 2018. We have already secured Battersea Park as the dedicated launch site for the 2019 event and can confirm the new standby dates of June 2nd, 9th, 16th and 30th.

2017 Regatta

10th September 2017

The RICOH Lord Mayors Balloon Regatta® took off from London City Airport this morning with 26 balloons launching from the main runway!

Teams arrived from midnight and had to go through rigourous security checks in order to gain access to the airport and then waited patiently on the runway for the sunrise to appear.

At 7am exactly the offical Lord Mayor’s Appeal Hot Air Balloon took off along with our headline sponsor headline sponsor RICOH, the new London City Airport balloon and our other corporate partner balloons; Keltbray, Fortnum & Mason, Longleat, Aberdeen Asset Management, Renishaw, Riney and Mamont and flew north east towards Dagenham.

London City Airport are celebrating their 30th anniversay this year and welcomed the Balloon Regatta® as part of their celebrations.

This is the third Lord Mayor’s Balloon Regatta® which is now the official ballooning event of London and has the full support of Mansion House and the City of London.

#BalloonRegatta was once again trending on twitter throughout the morning and within minutes of take off, pictures, videos and stories were appearing on social media.

9th September 2017

We are delighted to announce that we are proceeding with The RICOH Lord Mayor’s Balloon Regatta flight tomorrow morning.

We have an anticipated launch time of 07:00 with an expected track heading towards Dagenham, Hornchurch, Upminster, Brentwood, and Billericoy.

Due to the early start time and lack of public transport, London City Airport will stream the regatta live on its Facebook page but there will be no official spectator facilities at the airport.

8th September 2017

We are currently on FULL STANDBY for Sunday 10th September. The weather conditions are currently looking favourable, however we are monitoring the wind direction. A further update will be published tomorrow at approx 1pm.

5th July 2017

We can confirm that the new official standby dates for the Balloon Regatta® will be September 10th, 24th and October 1st.

June 2017

We are now looking at potential dates for September 2017. Please keep checking this website for further updates.

Friday June 23rd 2017

The scheduled flight for Sunday June 25th has now been officially stood down. We are now considering alternative dates and will update accordingly.

Friday June 16th 2017

The scheduled flight for Sunday June 18th has now been officially stood down. We remain on full standby for the next date of June 25th.

Friday June 9th 2017

The scheduled flight for Sunday June 11th has now been officially stood down. We remain on full standby for the next date of June 18th.

Thursday June 1st 2017

The scheduled flight for Sunday June 4th has now been officially stood down. We remain on full standby for the next date of June 11th.

Thursday April 27 2017


London City Airport will accommodate the first mass cross-London flight to launch from a major airport, when it plays host to the annual Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta® in June this year.

The official ballooning event of The City of London, which is being staged at the airport as part of its 30thanniversary year celebrations, will see more than 50 hot air balloons taking to the skies – the highest number recorded departing from a UK international airport. During the 15-minute launch period, London City Airport is likely to be one of the busiest international airports in the world, based on the number of ‘movements’.

An international array of hot air balloon pilots from the UK, France, Spain, Belgium and the USA are set to attend. London City Airport has also commissioned its own hot air balloon to join the extravaganza, affording Londoners spectacular views of the colourful display.

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, said: “We are looking forward to hosting this extravaganza on our runway, providing a unique setting against the backdrop of London’s Royal Docks, the River Thames and the iconic London skyline nearby. The regatta will provide our local communities with a 30th anniversary spectacle they’ll never forget.”

The regatta recreates the first ever balloon flight which took place in Britain in 1784, by pioneering Italian aeronaut, Vincenzo Lunardi.

An aerial extension of the historic Lord Mayor’s Show, the regatta is designed to raise awareness of and funds for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. The Appeal supports hospital and community outreach through music, working with St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Symphony Orchestra.

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress plan to fly in the official Lord Mayor’s Appeal hot air balloon.

The Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley added:

“The Lord Mayor’s Balloon Regatta is the very highest of highlights – celebrating the tremendous contribution of business to their communities, 1000 feet above London!

“The Regatta raises funds and awareness for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, through the work of the London Symphony Orchestra Discovery programme, St Paul’s community projects in East London, and Music in Hospitals.

“We owe a particular debt of gratitude to Ricoh for their generous three-year support and to London City Airport for providing the perfect launch site; an uplifting celebration of their 30th anniversary. Thanks to them and all the other organisations taking part, thousands of young people will be supported, and Londoners will enjoy a stunning sight this June.”

Due to the weather-dependent nature of hot air ballooning, this event is on standby for every Sunday morning in June and will proceed on the first available of these dates when the weather is suitable.

The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta is brought to life by Exclusive Ballooning, which has helped to raise more than £7 million for charity using hot air balloons at the tool for fundraising.

London City Airport was officially opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II on 5 November 1987, and throughout 2017 is celebrating its 30th anniversary year.

2016 Regatta

Sunday June 19th 2016

A fabulous thank you to everybody who helped make this year’s RICOH Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta an amazing Success.

47 hot air balloons including the Longelat Lion, The William Hill Scottish Cup and of course the RICOH Imagine.Change. special shape balloons all flew between Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf, heading directly over the O2 and London City Airport before flying out of the city into the Essex countryside.

Flying at the from of the pack, Exclusive Ballooning chief pilot Andrew Holly had special VIP guests The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of London Alderman The Lord Mountevans and The Lady Mayoress on board.

The press coverage has been huge with Time Out London streaming the event together with ITV London, BBC News, London Standard, Telegraph, Daily Mail… the list is long.

We are delighted to announce that this flight has raised £46,750 bringing the total raised so far by the Regatta to over £125,000.

For press releases and pictures please contact us on 01453 511280 or via contact on this website.

Pilot applications for 2017 will open on December 27th 2016 at 12pm.

Saturday June 18th 2016 19:59

We are delighted to announce that the 2016 RICOH Lord Mayor’s Balloon Regatta is CONFIRMED for Sunday June 19th. PILOTS – Briefing may be brought forward, you will be informed at the gate.

Spectators – The launch site is Burgess Park, Albany Road, SE5 7QH. There is no parking on site, there is no smoking on site. Please do include #BalloonRegatta with all of your pictures and tweets.

Intended launch time is around 4:45-5am with expected flight track to the east side of Tower Bridge north of Canary Wharf heading out towards Romford.

Saturday June 18th 2016 14:10

PILOTS – check your email now – you should have received confirmation PDF showing all launch site information and other Important information.

Friday June 3rd 2016

Pilots – you MUST have read through your briefing notes by now. If you have not received them, please check your email spam folders – these were sent May 31st approx 6pm.

Wednesday June 1st 2016

We are thrilled to announce a three year deal with RICOH who will be the main sponsor of the Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta from this year. We thank RICOH for their support and faith in the event.

Tuesday 1st December 2015

The 2016 event dates were confirmed on the Regatta website as June 5th, 12th, 19th or 26th and it was announced that applications will open on January 13th 2016.

Wednesday 9th September 2015

The team from Exclusive Ballooning were honoured to have been invited to The Mansion House, London for a formal reception hosted by the Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor of London Alan Yarrow.

The reception was to celebrate the success of the Balloon Regatta in June of this year and the awareness and funds it has raised already for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the City of London.

The Lord Mayor addressed the guests and confirmed that the event has his full support and that of The Mansion House and Appeal office. We are therefore delighted that the flight will be moving forward as an annual event.


2015 Regatta

The 2015 Balloon Regatta

The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta flew across the skies of London on Sunday 7th June 2015 in a stunning and historic flight.

Launching at just after 5am, forty balloons took off from Shoreditch Park and climbed up and out over the river Thames flying between Tower Bridge, the Shard and Canary Wharf.

The iconic London skyline was filled with this unique sight for over an hour, with many people on the ground posting and tweeting pictures of the unexpected sight of the Regatta balloons. Throughout the morning  #HotAirBalloons and #BalloonRegatta were trending on twitter.

The Regatta is in support of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, working to raise awareness and funds for the Charity and to promote the City of London and those associated with it.  The Lord Mayor’s hot air balloon was the first balloon to take off, followed closely by well known city corporations, who have also chosen to support the charity. These include Aberdeen Asset Management, Fortnum & Mason, Stirling Ackroyd, Renishaw, Ricoh, British Airways, British Telecom and Universal Pictures.

This is the first time a mass ascent has flown in London in over twenty years and since then the skyline and airspace has changed dramatically.

This event was wholly arranged and devised by Exclusive Ballooning’s Chief Pilot Andrew Holly, Operations Director Louise Moore and Philip Saunders of the City of London Corporation. An idea that initially started in 2013, Exclusive Ballooning set out to raise £50,000 from the event and prior to the launch, Andrew Holly had the pleasure of announcing that the current total raised by the Regatta was an impressive £78,884 and counting! A cheque will be presented to current Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow at Mansion House following the event.

Sunday 7th June 2015

AIRBORNE!!! A fantastic successful and safe flight across London this morning. Full story and pictures will follow but currently available via our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/exclusiveballooning

Saturday 6th June 2015 PM

THE FLIGHT IS ON. The launch site is Shoreditch Park in central London and the launch time is expected to be around 5am.

Saturday 6th June 2015

The weather is looking very promising for a north-south crossing of London and we are delighted to announce that the flight is now officially called ON for tomorrow, June 7th. We will publish more information later today. A further call will be made this evening.

Friday 29th May 2015

Sadly due to a forecast of poor weather, this Sunday’s flight has been stood down. We will now focus on the next flying slot which is June 7th.