Egypt balloon flights to resume after deadly crash
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will allow again hot air balloon flights which were halted in February when 19 people were killed in a crash near the ancient town of Luxor, state media said on Saturday.
Mostly Asian and European tourists were killed in the crash after a balloon caught fire following a mid-air gas explosion near the Valley of the Kings and pharaonic temples popular with travelers.
Tour operators would be allowed again to conduct hot air balloon flights from April 1, Civil Aviation Minister Wael al-Maadawi told state news agency MENA.
He said authorities had improved safety rules and would enforce more maintenance controls at balloon flight operators.
Hot air ballooning is popular with tourists, who are a mainstay of the Egyptian economy, although visitor numbers have fallen sharply since a 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Two years of political instability have kept many foreign tourists away.
(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Michael Roddy)
- Exclusive: Malaysia plane probe narrows on mid-air disintegration - source
- Radar showed missing plane may have turned back: Malaysia military
- Missing Malaysian jet may have disintegrated in mid-air: source |
- Malaysian plane presumed crashed; questions over false IDs |
- Merkel raps Putin as Russian forces tighten grip on Crimea |