Then there was one – Cameron closes Lindstrand Balloons Oswestry
Sad news that Cameron Balloons Ltd has finally closed down the Lindstrand factory at Oswestry awaited my return home. Nice of Nick Purvis to let me know when I popped in to collect some parts later that same day. Maybe he had no idea. The news comes as no surprise as there probably isn’t the capacity to keep two high-end balloon manufacturers going. It would appear, and was confirmed by Lindstrand US, that Cameron Balloons intends to, or has already has, declared Lindstands insolvent which is very sad for all the staff as the chances of receiving any outstanding pay or benefits is very unlikely but we await a statement from Cameron Balloons Ltd.
It is very important to realise that all is not lost and despite all the rumours flying about at the moment all the relevant paperwork that ensures Lindstrand Balloons can be flown and that their Continued Airworthiness maintained remains in place. Cameron Balloons will, no doubt, ensure that support for the Lindstrand product will be maintained just as they did for Thunder & Colt and Sky Balloons so, for all Lindstrand owners, wherever you are Lindstand systems can still be operated and an official response is expected from Cameron Balloons Ltd shortly. Inspectors can inspect and release Lindstrand Balloons and equipment just like they always have.
As yet no official statements have come from Lindstrands or Cameron Balloons. This is a bit sad as there is an awful lot of dedicated and loyal Lindstrand owners out there. I trust something will be posted soon.
Phil Thompson, President of Lindstrand Balloons USA, published the following statement.
BUSINESS AS USUAL AT LINDSTRAND BALLOONS USA
Earlier today we received news that Cameron Balloons Ltd., a majority share-holder in Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons, Ltd. for a number of years, has decided to close the factory in Oswestry, UK. They will let Lindstrand UK go into receivership. The UK employees were informed that there are neither funds to pay unemployment benefits or positions available with Cameron Balloons. Sadly, many of our good friends and ballooning peers are out of work. But, we are excited at the same time because many restrictions imposed by outside owners and shareholders will no longer affect design development.
When Cameron Balloons Ltd. became financially involved in Lindstrand UK, we here at Lindstrand Balloons USA began a quest to become as independent as possible from both UK companies. We have always been a solely owned American company, and the relationship with Lindstrand UK has become that of parts supplier and contract engineering. We have been working towards becoming a totally ‘Made in the USA’ manufacturer for some time. Burner assembly will come in-house, parts that have passed through Lindstrand UK will now come directly to the USA or initially tested and shipped from an alternate UK source already in place. Parts supply for Lindstrand owners in other countries is being discussed.
News will be released as various parts of our plan come into place. Until then, be wary of the scare mongers out there. Some will like to claim this news is anything but good for Lindstrand Balloons USA and our customers. "Nay, Nay, we say." There is now an opportunity to develop exciting new products and an expanded market. We are looking forward to seeing many of you later this week in Reno at the BFA convention.