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Egypt resumes hot air balloon flights over Luxor after temporary halt

Authorities have adopted a range of safety measures for balloon operations ahead of an eight-day international ballooning festival

Ahram Online , Wednesday 7 Sep 2016
Luxor
File Photo: In this picture taken from a balloon Friday, April 1, 2016, the Nile River is partially shrouded in early morning clouds in Luxor, Egypt (Photo: AP)
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Egypt has resumed hot air balloon rides over the ancient city of Luxor after they were temporarily halted last week due to poor weather conditions.

Ahmed Abboud, the head of hot air balloon operations in Luxor, said Tuesday that the four-day suspension was in accordance with newly placed regulations.

Authorities have adopted a range of safety measures for balloon operations ahead of an eight-day international ballooning festival due to be hosted in December, Abboud was quoted as saying by state news agency MENA.

The festival will bring together 80 of the world's top balloon pilots from some 30 countries.

Under the new regulations, hot air balloons will be monitored by cameras, connected to ground stations with transponders and equipped with a GPS tracking system, according to Abboud.

Balloons will also be banned from flying above 2,000 meters.

The suspension of balloon rides came days after 22 Chinese tourists suffered minor injuries in a crash landing in Luxor caused by strong winds.

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