Press conference of 22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship

This year the 22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship will be hosted in Szeged, Hungary

Today is a big day in the history of Hungarian hot air ballooning, as today it was announced that Szeged will host the 22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship in 2021, but it also happened exactly 210 years ago, on June 3rd, 1811, that the first hot air balloon flew in Hungary for the first time. The organizers are expecting more than 100 balloons for the international competition and balloon fiesta. The competitors arrive to Szeged – the City of Sunshine – from many parts of Europe. Will be pilots from 23 countries.

Press conference of 22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship
Press conference of 22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship

It will be the first time that an Armenian hot air balloon pilot will participate at a European Championship, but among the participants there are multiple world and European champions, a junior world champion, a five-time European champion, a women’s European champion, a nineteen-times Dutch, a eight-time Austrian, a seven-time Belgian, a six-time Hungarian, a five-time English, a five-time Latvian and a four-time French champion. Simply put: in September 2021, the best of the profession will be present at the competition.

Several participants submitted personal introductory material, which is available at the link below: competitors and their balloons.

“Here, in Szeged the month of September has been about the art of aviation every year since 2016, but I can safely say that this year the European Championship will open a whole new chapter for the fans of hot air balloons. The sport has already been very popular in Szeged, and we wanted to take advantage of that and give the people in the city an exciting week with the European championship” – said Zoltán Majó-Petri, the Managing Director of the Szeged Transport Company.

Konecsni János – six-time Hungarian hot air balloon champion and the current title holder and Zoltán Pálhegyi – Deputy Director of 22nd European Hot Air Balloon Championship are presented.

Also participated via video link: John GRUBBSTRÖM, Jury President of the 22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship

Stefan ZEBERLI, five-time European champion and current title holder.

This year the organizers are offering a special patronage program to hot air balloon fanatics who want even more than the spectacle of more than hundred balloons. Those who join the patron club will receive the following additional services:

  • detailed competition information
  • exact departure data
  • free European Championship T-shirt
  • access to the paddock area (at a pre-arranged time)
  • and only they will be able to obtain tickets for a hot air balloon ride (the ride is not included in the patron ticket, only the option to buy a ticket)

The patron ticket is available from today on the website

12-18 of September, 2021 –22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship – The event where balloons paint the sky

Entry closed, rules published and GO

The 2nd round and the entry of 22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship is closed. 84 pilots made complete entry, including 4 medalist and 80 other competitors from 23 countries.

The organiser committee confirmed the event will be held in September.

The RSC just approved the Rules for the Europeans 2021. It’s published here.

Organisers want Go

The Organisers don’t want to cancel the event. If we need the postpone it then we will following the SC regulations about the entry fees, same as in case of Covid situations too. The final decision of “Go / No go” is 30th June.

All pilots will get their entry fee full refund minus transaction fee if they withdraw more then 60 days of the start of the event. This reduces to 50% between 60 and 45 days.

However due to Covid you have agreed with the organisers that the full entry fee will be refunded minus transaction fee if the cancellation between 60 and 30 days is due to valid Covid reason e.g. government prevents travel, a country that you need to travel though to get to the event prevents transit, the host country denies entry, the pilot develops Covid.
All these case the pilots shall produce the evidence of valid reason to the event organisers.

COVID information in April 2021

The organizer is the Szegedi Közlekedési Társaság (SZKT) which is a City Government’s company. The SZKT operate the public electric transportation (trams and trolleys), the Szeged Airport (LHUD) and parking system of the city. They have approved safety regulations, protocols and facilities, including COVID related situations.

The LHUD is open to the public use towered airport (not aerodrome only) within EASA’s scope. The Competition Center and briefings will be in the airport where these regulations should be apply but the main activity will be the 22nd FAI Hot Air Balloon European Championship 2021.

The organizer will send personal invitation to all participants to the sporting event which will give special dispensation if within 3 days prior to the sporting event, performed once, in accordance with health professional rules Hungarian or English containing the results of an appropriate molecular biological test – SARS-CoV-2 PCR test certifies that SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was not detected in.
This regulation applied from 1st September 2020 and we organized the pre-Europeans without any problems in last year. Still no need quarantine under this rule.

The COVID situation is improving. The terrace of restaurant, pubs, etc. will open for everybody tomorrow and more opening will come for the vaccinated people in next weeks. Hungary has open borders and good national vaccine uptake
We have open borders and good national vaccine uptake.
Hungary will be hosted some 1st round football matches of UEFA European Championship in June too.

We will keep informed you here. Don’t forget to take care for the deadlines. You may follow the countdown in top right.

Open borders & vaccinations

The COVID-19 situation is hard in Europe but hope this very soon will improve. Check the border crossing and vaccine uptake information on link below.

National Vaccine Uptake 2021-03-18

Open borders
Persons participating in an international sports event entitled to the same rights as Hungarian citizens

Good national vaccine uptake

The organizers will try to give all necessary help for participants for border crossing when will came the time.

Budapest will host matches of Football European Championship in June. Will monitoring these in this COVID-19 situation.

Stay healthy and Szeged is waiting with safe an event.