Back in The Sky: Luxor’s Hot Air Balloon Suspension Lifted

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Back in The Sky: Luxor’s Hot Air Balloon Suspension Lifted

One of Luxor’s most beloved tourist attractions, the hot air balloon, has made a comeback to the antiquities-laden city with its first trip in 80 days taking place on Tuesday.

The activity, which gives Luxor its familiar skyline punctuated by colorful activity, was suspended in July due to raised security concerns following an incident in which a balloon drifted off course west of Luxor.

According to state-owned news outlet Al Ahram, the city’s aviation authorities lifted the 80-day suspension of the hot air balloon as a result of better safety measures taken by local balloon operators.

Despite the attempts at improving security, Egypt’s hot air balloons have a minor reputation for unsafety. This is due to the killing of a South African tourist in January 2018 when a hot air balloon crashed; the incident also left many tourists injured and was attributed to poor weather conditions.

Moreover, Egypt holds the record for the deadliest balloon accident in history: in 2013, a hot air balloon crash incident resulted when a balloon caught fire mid-air afte. The tragic incident claimed the lives of 19 tourists.

Prior, crashes in Egypt are known to have occurred in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Giving tourists a unique view to cities with iconic buildings and landscape2s, hot air balloons are popular in touristic countries such as Turkey, Kenya and the US among many others.

In Egypt, they are also popular among archeologists and Egyptologists who seek to capture an ‘overview’ angle of various archeological sites; this is due to the fact that drones, commonly used in the field of archeology, are not allowed to be used in Egypt except by the country’s military.

Featured image source: Antonio Ribeiro/GETTY IMAGES

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