Luxor hot air balloons back in business

Luxor hot air balloons back in business

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Tue, 16/04/2013 - 19:01

Hot air balloon tours are set to resume in Luxor on Wednesday after a hiatus of nearly six weeks following a deadly accident that killed 19 tourists.

The announcement was made by Civil Aviation Authority Chairman Mohamed Sherif on Tuesday.

“Passengers must sign a document saying they are flying at their own risk,” Sherif said, adding that balloons are not a means of transport, but are instead used for tour and advertising purposes.

He told state-run MENA news agency that procedures governing the ownership and operation of hot air balloons have been reviewed.

Authorities have also improved technical standards and increased inspections of balloon companies and pilots to ensure the tours are safe.

He also said that Sky Cruise, the company operating the balloon that crashed, will remain closed until the investigation is completed.

The February accident spurred a downturn in tourism for the famed city after officials shuttered 40 other companies pending the investigation.

Edited translation from MENA