- Title: SWITZERLAND: HOT AIR BALLOONING WEEK
- Date: 20th January 1996
- Summary: CHATEAU D'OEX, SWITZERLAND (JANUARY 20-21, 1996) 1. BALLOONS BEING INFLATED READY FOR TAKE OFF 2. ORIENT EXPRESS BALLOON INFLATED 3. PEOPLE WATCHING 4. BALD EAGLE BALLOON RISING INTO AIR 5. BALLOONS TAKING OFF, MOUNTAINS IN BACKGROUND 6. BALLOONS ON GROUND PREPARED FOR LAUNCH 7. BALLOONS WITH MOUNTAINS IN BACKGROUND 8. PEOPLE WAVING FROM BASKET AS BALLOON TAKES OFF 9. BALLOONS ON GROUND FROM AIR 10. AERIAL BALLOONS FLOATING OVER COUNTRYSIDE 11. PEOPLE ON GROUND WATCHING BALLOONS 12. MAN WITH HANGLIDER LAUNCHES FROM BALLOON BASKET THEN PARACHUTES TO GROUND FROM HANGLIDER Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 4th February 1996 12:00
- Location: CHATEAU D'OEX, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Reuters ID: LVA57M09LITYMC3TX5GZU9JF9XJK
- Story Text: Khe 18th international ballooning week of the Swiss mountain resort of Chateaux d'Oex opened over the weekend with 80 hot air balloons representing 15 different countries.
These days balloons come in a variety of surprising shapes and forms, and among the participants this year were a a huge black locomotive, a fox, a castle, a sultan, an eagle and many others.
"It's always the same thrill, and each time another adventure", the United States' Lorna Daly, one of the very few female pilots, said before leaving the ground. She follows her passion since over 12 years all around the world.
"It's my very first time and it's just fantastic" Pierre said looking over the Alps, "It's so silent, so quiet." They were among the few spectators who could afford the 250 U.S. dollars for a one hour-long trip.
Ballooning is a very expensive hobby and can only survive thanks to heavy sponsorship. Ninety per cent of the balloons and teams are sponsored by companies who like to invite important clients to the event.
One of the principal balloon sponsors, Unipart from the United Kingdom, spends around 200,000 U.S. dollars every year on balloons and big events like Chateau d'Oex.
"A single balloon costs between 50 and 100,000 dollars so it's money. But the investment is really worth it in terms of a company's image", said Unipart spokeswoman Tessa Tennant.
The event attracts fliers of all kinds, and parachutists, paragliders and hang gliders flew around the giant balloons throughout the weekend.
The international balloning week at Chateaux d'Oex continues until January 28.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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