At 7.00am this morning, twenty-seven hot air balloons lifted off from London City Airport as part of the 2017 RICOH Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta.
It is the first time the regatta has launched from London City Airport, this year forming part of the 30th birthday celebrations for the airport, which opened in 1987.
The balloons remained airborne above London for over one hour, travelling north eastwards from the airport in the London Borough of Newham at around 1,000 feet, over Dagenham, Hornchurch and Upminster, before dispersing and landing.
Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, said:
“This was a truly stunning setting for this year’s Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta and a fitting visual spectacle to celebrate the airport’s 30th birthday, as we build up to the November milestone. London City Airport’s unique location provided the twenty seven participating hot air balloons with a stunning backdrop featuring London’s Royal Docks, the River Thames and the iconic London skyline nearby.”
Lord Mayor Andrew Parmley said:
“The Lord Mayor’s Balloon Regatta is a unique event – bringing together up to 30 hot air balloons, from across the world, to fly over London.
“This glorious sight will raise spirits along with support for my Lord Mayor’s Appeal – benefiting three charities which do a huge amount to support education and music in our communities. They are: London Symphony Orchestra Discovery programme, St Paul's Cathedral Music Outreach and Music in Hospitals.
“The money raised will help these charities to continue building aspiration, confidence and talent, and I hope many more people will be inspired to support their terrific work through my Appeal.”
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 and is brought to life by Exclusive Ballooning.
Thursday 26 October marks exactly 30 years since London City Airport began commercial operations, with two airlines initially serving just three routes in 1987; Plymouth, Paris and Brussels. Today the airport serves around fifty destinations on eleven airlines and in 2016 welcomed a record-breaking 4.6 million passengers. The airport was officially opened by HM The Queen on 5 November 1987.