Turkiye leads in hot air balloon tours globally

Türkiye has spearheaded the world’s most expansive hot air balloon operations, having welcomed over 5.8 million balloon passengers in the past 13 years, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloğlu has announced.

“In our country, balloon excursions navigate through seven regions, namely Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Soğanlı, Çat, Ihlara, Afyonkarahisar and Antalya. More than 80 percent of these flights take place in the Cappadocia region,” Uraloğlu disclosed in a written statement.

Since the burgeoning popularity of balloon flights in Türkiye and the increasing recognition of Cappadocia in 2011, a total of 310,301 flights have carried over 5.8 million passengers, Uraloğlu said.

Emphasizing Türkiye’s status as the country with the largest commercial hot air balloon operation in terms of both traffic volume and number of appropriate days for tours, he underscored that the daily flight frequency in Cappadocia eclipses what can be witnessed in other flight-permissive locales worldwide, albeit only during festive occasions.

In the Cappadocia region, where most balloon tours are conducted, the climate and wind conditions allow for flights for up to an average of 280 days per year,he said.

“Since 2022, an average of 2,500 balloon sorties have ascended into the Cappadocian skies each month, catering to an average of 50,000 travelers monthly during this period. This translates to a staggering 600,000 people annually a feat unrivaled across the globe,” the minister expressed.

In European countries such as Germany, England, France and the Netherlands, flights can only be made for up to 60 days a year, Uraloğlu said, adding that the closest number of commercial flights to those in the Cappadocia region are conducted in Kenya.

Kenya witnesses about 40-50 balloons flying daily, but a maximum of 120 days of flights can be conducted annually, Uraloğlu noted, adding that the number of flyable days for commercial balloon operations in Australia and Tanzania, where operations are dense, also ranges from 100 to 120 days.

Providing information that the number of balloon passengers reached a record level of 750,000 in 2022, Uraloğlu stated that in 2023, 27,318 flights were made with 615,063 people flying in balloons.

“As of May 1, 2024, we see that 183,574 people have flown in balloons. This number indicates that we can reach record levels even though the holiday season has not yet begun.”

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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