Hot air balloon trips resume in Luxor after two-day suspension

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Jul 2022

Hot air balloon flights have been resumed in the Egyptian tourist hotspot of Luxor in the early hours of Wednesday after an almost two-day suspension that was imposed in the wake of a balloon drifting off its course on Monday and slightly injuring two tourists.

Hot Air Balloons
hot air balloons fly over the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt. AP


A hot air balloon that was carrying 28 passengers drifted into the airspace of another at an altitude of 60 metres and a speed of seven knots, leading to tears in the first balloon.

The balloon managed to land safely, however, two of the passengers were slightly injured and promptly transferred to a nearby hospital to receive treatment, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement earlier this week.

Following the accident, the ministry suspended the hot air balloon activity until further notice, forming a committee of safety experts to investigate the accident, before it announced on Wednesday the end of the suspension period.

The decision to lift the suspension was taken after the committee tasked with the investigation inspected all the safety procedures and steps taken to operate the balloons in Luxor, the ministry said.

It also added that the committee checked on all passengers who were on board the two balloons in Monday’s accident, confirming that no complaints have been made by the passengers with regard to the operational procedures of the two trips.

Moreover, the tourists praised the procedures that were taken during the emergency landing, the statement added.

However, the ministry stated that the suspension will remain in place for the two companies that were operating the two balloons in Monday’s incident until the conclusion of further investigations.

Hot air ballooning over Luxor — a home to a myriad of ancient sites — is a popular attraction in which tourists enjoy the panoramic view of ancient Egyptian temples and green agricultural fields.

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