Tenth Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta launches smoothly
The tenth Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta launched successfully in Presint 2 of the city despite cloudy weather.
With safety always being the paramount concern with hot air ballooning, pilots had to wait until about 8am on launch day before the weather improved enough so that they were cleared to launch.
The 20 hot air balloons then took to the skies, having come from numerous countries around the world, including Taiwan, Japan, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Brazil, the United States, and Australia. Among the hot air balloons were a number of custom designs, including Black Bear, Pink Elephant, Robot Woozi, Happy Chan, Pink Gnome, Tako the Octopus, and Bruno the Clown.
Atiqah Khairudin, the event’s organiser and chief operating officer of AKA Balloon Sdn Bhd, reported the first balloon took off at 8:10am.
Present for the event’s launch were Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim, the president of Putrajaya Corporation, and Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh, the Deputy Federal Territories Minister. The former also took a hot air balloon ride for his first time and expressed how delighted he was with the experience, pointing out how different it was to flying in an enclosed vehicle like a plane or helicopter. He added:
“I am proud that such an event is taking place here to give a chance for the locals to see and experience hot air balloon festivals themselves, instead of just reading about such festivals in other countries.”