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We all know the typical methods of transportation in Egypt, such as cars, buses, bicycles, and even the tuk-tuks. But did you know that one of the most popular tourist rides here is the hot air balloon in Luxor, before they were temporarily shut down for over two months? It’s true! Last March, Egypt Today stated that Luxor was ranked second, right after Teotihuacan, Mexico, on the list of the top seven hot air ballooning destinations by Matador Network.
Fortunately, the hot air balloon rides are regaining their former glory, according to El Yom, that recently shared the fact that they are now reopened to the public. Egyptian tourism expert and board member of the Chamber of Travel Agencies in Luxor, Mohamed Kinawy, mentioned that the first trial balloon was launched, and successfully completed its trip, passing over the touristic sites. The Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority launched the experiment to check the accuracy of the GPS and the “Black Box” for observation and tracking, ensuring the safety of future passengers. Kinawy also stated, “The newly implemented procedures include high-tech cameras installed on the balloon to record every trip from the moment it takes off until the moment it lands.”
For those who don’t know, the hot balloon air rides were suspended on the 21st of June after the wind pushed one of the balloons towards a mountainous area, where the pilot was able to take control of the situation and land it in a valley between Luxor and Nagea Hammady. Luckily, the 10 Asians and European tourists were not harmed, and no severe damage occurred. This time around, electronic programmes and maps will be used, so the pilots can pinpoint the airspeed and direction, as well as the establishment of an on-site meteorological station, so they are aware of weather news 24/7.
We can’t wait to see the Luxor skyline once again filled with the colourful hot air balloons, floating in the open air and bringing joy to the tourists of the world.