Hod-Hod Soliman has worked very hard to keep its unrivalled safety record.
There are always risks in life and there are risks in ballooning, but as in life we do our best to reduce the risk and ensure an enjoyable flight free from injury.
Our 20 years of safety in the air rests on the importance of continuous Pilot and Crew training plus the best available and regularly maintained equipment from the UK .
For their safety and comfort passengers will be required to understand a briefing on what to do in the event of an emergency and to carry out instructions from their pilot during the flight and immediately after landing.
The Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) controls hot air ballooning in Egypt with strict safety guidelines including continuous monitoring of their rules and regulations.
Of course we hold all the appropriate full commercial pilot’s licences and approvals and our pilots have a wealth of practical experience too.
In the interests of safety all passengers should be able to enter and leave the basket without help.
We are fully insured for passengers, third party, balloon etc.
Passenger insurance alone is a total of US$ 2,000,000 or US$100,000 per person.
If it should be needed this would be paid in US dollars not Egyptian pounds.
Many Tour Companies require their clients to also have their own personal accident insurance to cover ballooning in general before taking a flight. This does not affect our insurance and we do not ask for a waiver to be signed.
We schedule flights for every day of the year, rarely cancelling for bad
weather, visibility or at the direction of the Airport Authority.
Flights may take off from 5am to 8am depending on the time of year.
Some of our balloons are small and some of our balloons are much larger. A small balloon will carry a Pilot and up to 4 people in an open basket. The larger balloons have the basket divided into compartments, each holding between 2 and 5 people depending on the maximum number registered to be carried by a particular balloon.
The most commonly used balloons carry a maximum of 20 passengers in 4 compartments. There is enough room to take the landing position but it isn’t designed for walking about in, for safety reason the fit must be fairly snug.
Yes, a safety briefing will be given to the passengers before the flight where it will be stressed that the pilot’s instructions must be followed at all times.
If you do not understand the briefing or are not prepared to carry out the Pilot’s instructions you must make this clear to the pilot before the flight . We will return you to your accommodation.
In your best interests you should, if possible at the time of booking, declare any existing health conditions which may be adversely affected by the flight or may affect the safety and enjoyment of other passengers. Such medical conditions include Osteoporosis, Epilepsy, Asthma, Acute Arthritis and a heart pacemaker. This list is not extensive or inclusive and mentioned only as an example.
Pregnant women must not fly.
The pilot is a mature, very experienced and highly qualified professional and it shows. He will use his skill and judgment within the parameters of the environment and weather conditions, to provide the most interesting flight he can.
The Pilot will take everything into consideration before making his final decision on whether or not to fly Safety considerations being the over-riding factor. Cancellations are few.
See more about the pilots in the pilots section.
We take off from the designated Ballooning Airport controlled by the Luxor International Airport Authority on the West Bank of Luxor near the temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
After take-off the balloon will glide between several layers of winds in many different directions usually around 1,500 ft but maybe higher in order to see the panorama of the countryside.
The balloon flies with the wind, but our pilots will try their hardest to show the passengers the best view of the temples, tombs, countryside and the daily life of Egypt from the air. Passengers should have an equal opportunity to view as the pilot will rotate the balloon during the flight.
The pilots will point out places of interest and be happy to chat to you and your fellow passengers about ballooning throughout your flight, maybe pointing out natural scenes that are normally hidden from view.
The flight will be for a nominal one hour. It may be 45 minutes, it may be one and a half hours, this depends on conditions on the day of the flight, but the pilot will do his best to ensure that the passengers have an interesting and safe flight.
This is one of the most common questions we get asked.
Passengers should wear a hat or head covering and flat shoes, sun cream and insect repellent. They should wear clothing that will enable them to enter and leave the basket unassisted, hence no tight skirts or high heels. They will also be in the direct sun for an hour or so, and should wear clothes which will protect them from sunburn and show respect to the rural communities where they may land.
In winter time bring your jacket as it can be cold in the early morning. You will not be noticeably colder as the balloon rises and when the sun comes up it quickly gets warm (or hot in summer)
The launch site is officially operated by the Airports Authority who supervise and control all ballooning activities. If they refuse permission to fly for any reason, Hod-Hod Soliman will not fly.
Sometimes they delay take-off which may affect the passengers schedule for the day. This is out of the control of Hod-Hod Soliman.
During the flight the pilot is under the control of Luxor Airport and must follow their instructions.
This might include landing unexpectedly early as Luxor Airport is a military as well as a civil airport and their orders cannot be anticipated or ignored.
Any flight cancelled by Hod-Hod Soliman for whatever reason will be fully refundable.
The pilot will start looking for a suitable landing site after around 45 minutes. The retrieval crew will track the balloon on the ground and aim to be there during the landing which is normally in the desert or an empty field.
There are usually local people to welcome the landing and their greetings are warm and totally heartfelt. The people in the small villages close to Luxor seldom see tourists other than balloon passengers. Small farmers living very simple lives are delighted to meet people from a totally different culture. Passengers in return, see a style of life that is hidden by commerce and hype to most visitors and our passengers frequently remark on the privilege of the experience. This short period of relaxation in a convivial group sets the seal of complete enjoyment on the excursion.
Yes, US$ 2,000,000 of passenger liability cover and we carry third party insurance etc. Full current details on application.
Because there is no sensation of movement ballooning feels very different to most people’s expectations. The basket sides are quite high and firm which gives confidence to passengers.
If you are really scared of heights but a companion wants you to go on the trip with him/her then you can arrange with us to follow the flight on the ground.