The Team

James Palmer
Founder and Managing Director

27 years production experience, 10 years aviation.

Previous experience:

James has worked in the corporate entertainment industry for 26 years. He has travelled the world working on a diverse range of events. His clients have included world leaders, music legends and royalty.

James is experienced in delivering the high standards of efficiency and performance required for large-scale corporate marketing events. ‘You can have the best ideas in the world’, says James, ‘but without the right knowledge, tools and manpower to bring them to life, they will remain just that, ideas.’

For nearly a decade Jamie has had a passion for the eccentric, skilful and exciting world of ballooning.

Clients include:

Datacraft, Harris Grant, Google, Blackberry, Rooster Teeth, SITA, Jansen, WPP Asia, Quintiles, The Skoll Foundation, Cisco, Cadbury, 3mobile, Monsoon, ICI, Roche, PC World, Channel 4, O2, Nissan, Camelot, ENI, Mercedes, Lloyds TSB, Accenture, Musgrave Group, Samsung, Airbus, BMW, Royal Mail Group, United Utilities, Ford, Sanofi, Veritas, Marks and Spencer, Microsoft, British Airways, Old Mutual.


Brian Smith
Director & Aviation Consultant

40 years aviation experience.

Role in Airworks Worldwide:

Management of corporate aviation.

Training and supplying pilots and crews.

Previous experience:

Brian Smith took his first training flight in a light aircraft in 1962. Some thirty years later Brian retired from British Airways as a Senior Training Captain with a total of 30,000 hours flying experience.

Putting this knowledge to good use, Brian started the British School of Ballooning.

BSB is now one of the leading companies specialising in VIP corporate balloon flights, passenger rides and pilot training.

Brian acted as a flight controller for the successful Breitling round the world balloon flight and subsequently the first flight over the north pole.

Brian is a UK Civil Aviation Authority approved Senior Balloon Examiner and Balloon Instructor with over 2000 balloon flying hours.  He is also part of a team that check and approve other Balloon Examiners.

Clients include:

British Airways, Air Mauritius, Specsavers, Commander Aviation Services, CALA Homes Ltd, Seaward Homes Ltd, UK Civil Aviation Authority, British Balloon and Airship Club.

Daniel Froughi
Operations Manager

Role in Airworks Worldwide:

Daniel looks after all Airworks day to day tasks and long term operations that include:

Co-ordinating teams of pilots and crew, freighting balloons, their branded vehicles and promotional media on behalf of Airworks’ clients. Daniel works with clients to plan region tours and the logistics of operating a fleet of balloons for maximum exposure.

Daniel also consults on technical matters and IT solutions both in the office and planning international comms, safety and GPS tracking.

Jason Ford

Role in Airworks Worldwide:

Jason is our freelance Graphic Designer. He creates the images that appear on our balloons and vehicles. Jason is instrumental in putting together unique, luxurious and unforgettable pre and post flight environments for you and your guests to enjoy.

This often incorporates GroundWorks Worldwide, our specialised staging and events division.

Previous experience:

Jason has worked in the design industry for 7 years, specializing in branding and print.

Previous clients include:

Orange, Red Bull, Diesel, amongst many others.

Alex Farrant
Crew Manager / Pilot

Five years commercial aviation experience, hot air balloon pilot.

Role in Airworks Worldwide:

Alex works with Brian as our UK  in-house Balloon Pilot.

Alex is responsible for taking delivery of new balloons from our suppliers and checking them over. He flies balloons for the UK press launch and for the electronic press kit shoot prior to the balloon being shipped.

A hot air balloon is an aircraft and as such needs to be regularly maintained and have a certificate of airworthiness issued on a yearly basis. Alex takes care of the Airworks fleet and makes sure the paperwork is up-to-date and they are safely and securely stored whilst in our care and prior to dispatch.

Previous experience:

Before joining Airworks Alex worked for The British School of Ballooning, the longest running UK passenger rides business. Alex comes from an aviation family with both his mother and father working for the commercial balloon company formally know as Flying Pictures.

Sarah Nicholls
Account Manager

Role in Airworks Worldwide:

Sarah consults on clients branding and advertising as well as marketing strategies and promotional material on behalf of Airworks’ clients.

Previous experience:

Sarah studied Horticulture and Botany at Imperial College and Kew Botanic Gardens, London, obtaining a Masters degree. She has since worked as a professional illustrator, specialising in Botanic Illustration and as a yoga teacher.