Egypt ban on balloon flights lifted

2013-04-16 08:55
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Luxor - Hot air balloon flights in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor are set to resume this week following the completion of a review into a February crash that killed 19 tourists, said a civil aviation official Monday.

Flights are to resume on Wednesday, after they were banned in late February following the fatal crash, said Mohamed Ibrahim Sherif, head of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Sherif said the company operating the balloon that crashed will not resume operations until investigations into the incident are completed.

The balloon's pilot faces charges of negligence and manslaughter.

A preliminary probe ruled out any criminal motive in the accident, in which the balloon caught fire after a gas leak and exploded about 300 metres above the ground.

Balloon trips are popular in Luxor, which officials say is home to 70 per cent of Egypt's monuments.

The accident dealt a fresh blow to Egypt's tourism industry, already reeling amid the political and street unrest that has plagued the country since the 2011 people's revolt.

- Sapa-dpa

Read more on:    travel international

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