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Egypt 2nd biggest global tourist destination for hot air balloon tours

Egypt has become the world’s 2nd most important destination for hot air balloon trips after hitting 11,000 annual flights, with a total of 216,000 tourists.

The Civil Aviation Ministry, the authority supervising the organization of balloon flights in Luxor, introduced GPS and flight recorder technologies to monitor flights, tracking their path and landing location.

This comes as part of a package of measures taken by the Civil Aviation Authority in Egypt, with the aim of protecting tourists and monitor balloon flights over the city of Luxor.

High-tech cameras placed on the body of the balloon record every flight from the moment of take-off until landing, serving as a black box that records details of the flight from launch to landing.

The authority has also utilized modern devices that help determine the location of balloons in the air, in addition to using GPS devices that record the navigational movement of the flight, used as a reference for the Civil Aviation Authority in monitoring compliance with safety principles.

These procedures succeeded in eliminating any random balloon landing of the flying balloon, which had caused issues by landing on sandy ground or agricultural areas.

Egyptian’s 28 years of experience in this field has now resulted in an electronic program that helps the balloon pilot in air navigation using an electronic map that pilots can use to know the speed and direction of the air layers.

A new meteorological station has been established at the balloon flight site to provide balloon pilots with information about weather news 24 hours a day.


Balloon flight history

The tourism activity of balloon flights began in Luxor in 1988 and was led by British pilots, who were working for the British company Virgin, which established the first balloon company in Egypt.

The company was called “Ballonza Over Egypt Company.”

In 1994, the first balloon companies were established with Egyptian financing and expertise, where the Hodhod Soliman Company and the Sinbad Flying Balloon Company.

Today, there are 14 balloon companies operating daily flights in Luxor, after allowing balloon flights at different times of the day, and not only in the early morning hours.

This is helped by Luxor’s stable weather, dazzling landscapes, the spread of Pharaonic temples and tombs, and the immortal Nile River that hugs the mountains and the crops that attract tourists from the greatest heights.

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