Hot air balloons over the ancient city of Luxor, Egypt (Photo:AFP)
Hot-air balloon trips in Egypt's southern city of Luxor were suspended Thursday due to bad weather conditions, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.
Some 27 balloon trips scheduled to carry more than 600 tourists have been grounded. High winds and sandstorms hit the city and other regions across the country, forcing the closure of a number of Red Sea and Mediterranean ports.
Luxor governor's office said it was on alert to handle the potential impact of bad weather conditions, with security patrols sent out on major roads around the city.
Luxor, home to a myriad of ancient temples and historic sites, is a major tourist destination in Egypt, where tourism is a key earner of hard currency.
Tourists often take early morning balloon rides over the city to enjoy a panoramic view of its main attractions.
In January 2018, poor weather conditions caused a hot-air balloon to crash near Luxor, killing a South African tourist on board and injuring several others.