Egypt lifts suspension on Luxor hot air balloons after safety review

Menna Alaa El-Din , Tuesday 10 Sep 2019

Hot air balloon
File Photo: Hot air balloons over the ancient city of Luxor, Egypt (Photo:AFP)

Hot air balloons trips have resumed in Egypt's tourist hotspot Luxor after an 80-day suspension due to safety concerns, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic, a balloon made a trip on Tuesday over western Luxor carrying 19 tourists of different nationalities.

Mohamed Hamdy Moussa, the head of a local hot air balloon operator, said the civil aviation authority had allowed the resumption of trips after operators took necessary measures to achieve better security and safety.

The suspension in July came after a balloon drifted off course west of the ancient city. The pilot was able to land safely in the middle of the nearby desert, with no injuries reported.

In January 2018, poor weather conditions caused a hot air balloon to crash near Luxor, killing a South African tourist and injuring several other people.

A crash in February 2013 killed 19 people, mostly foreign tourists, after the balloon caught fire mid-air.

Luxor, home to a myriad of ancient sites, is a major destination for tourists visiting the country.

Early morning balloon rides over the city are a popular attraction.

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