Hot air balloon flights resume in Upper Egypt's Luxor

MENA and Ahram Online, Wednesday 17 Apr 2013

Forty-five days after hot air balloon crash in which 19 tourists were killed, balloon flights resume in tourist city of Luxor, according to head of Egypt's civil aviation authority

Hot air balloon flies over Luxor, Egypt, November 2012 (Photo: AP)

The first hot air balloon will take off on Wednesday in the Upper Egyptian city of Luxor following 45 days of suspended activity in the wake of February's deadly balloon accident, Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority head Mohamed Ibrahim Sharif confirmed Wednesday.

On 26 February, 19 tourists were killed in Luxor when the hot air balloon in which they were riding crashed due to an exploding gas canister.

Victims included foreign nationals from the UK, France, Belgium, Hungary, Japan and Hong Kong.

Luxor Governor Ezzat Saad commended the decision to resume hot air balloon flights, the suspension of which had led to the temporary unemployment of hundreds of workers.

Ezzat went on to say that investigations into February's balloon crash remained ongoing, stressing that results of the investigation would soon be revealed.

Last month, official news agency MENA quoted Civil Aviation Minister Wael El-Maadawy as saying that the company responsible for the accident – SkyTours – would not resume ballooning activities until investigations were concluded.

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