How Much Does A Hot Air Balloon Cost?

Written by Brett Watson on August 9, 2016

Hot Air Balloons are amazing aircraft; they look so simple and basic but they are extremely complex and intricate. They are serene and gentle but the noise of a burner can be loud and scary. Hot Air Balloons are flying paradoxes.

cost of hot air balloon

The Cost of a Hot Air Balloon

Firstly we need to understand that Hot Air Balloons are registered aircraft. They have met certain safety and build standard so that the government deem them good enough and safe enough to carry people.

Also balloons come in a huge variety of sizes. There are single person balloons where the pilot basically sits on a seat and flies on there own and there are twenty plus passenger balloons that are like airborne buses. The price difference for these balloons is vast.


So How Much Is a Hot Air Balloon?

Lets start with a basic balloon package that consists of a basket that carries 3 or 4 people and has an envelope size of 77 thousand cubic feet. This is your everyday run-about balloon used by enthusiasts.

New you would be looking at around US$40,000. This would include the following:

3 Person Basket

77 Envelope

Duel Burners

3 Gas Bottles

On top of this price there are some other mandatory items that you will need:


Inflation Fan



Retrieve vehicle (car with tow hitch for trailer)

Check out our list of Essential Balloon Gear here and mandatory Equipment for Pilots here.



How much does a second hand Hot Air Balloon cost?

Hot Air Balloon envelopes have a limited life span. As the envelope is used the hours are logged in an official log book that details information about each flight.

At approximately 300 plus hours the envelope starts to become porous and loses strength. As a result it may well fail its yearly safety check.

So a second hand balloon can be bought , depending on hours flown, for as little as US$10,000. They have to be sold with a current safety certificate to ensure it will still fly properly.


Large passenger balloons used by commercial companies can pay in excess of US$200,000 for a new setup. However many companies look to corporate sponsors to help reduce the purchase costs by pouting their logo on the balloon.


What about the cost of a Special Shaped Hot Air Balloon

You may have seen some very interesting balloon shaped like animals, buildings, cars and cartoon characters. These are very expensive balloons and can cost anywhere from US$120,000 right up to US$400,000 depending on the design.


Check out our list of Balloonist’s Essential Equipment here.