FRANKIE DeGROOT | Local News | Contact

An aviation industry report has confirmed a suspicion held by many air travellers, by confirming that hot air balloons are once again the most impractical form of air transport.

The title has proudly been held by the hot air balloon since the Wright brothers’ famous flight in 1903, right up to the arrival of Tiger Airways in 2007. 

The hot air balloon was first flown by the Montgolfier brothers in Paris in 1783 as part of an aerial reconnaissance mission to find other countries which could be used to test French nuclear weapons.  

With no means of controlling steering or velocity, the pilot alters the heat of the air in the balloon to make it rise or fall and thereby take advantage of different air currents of different speed and direction.

The result of this is that the passengers often have no firm idea when or where they will arrive, or if they will even be able to take off, much like passengers on Tiger Airways, which was mercifully euthanised this year. 

“I think I’ll miss Tiger Airways” said frequent flier Kelky Selman. “Hot air balloon flights are expensive, but Tiger Airways was just as unpredictable at less than half the cost.”

“Every now and again Ralph and I would head off to the airport and book a Tiger flight just for fun so we could sit at the gate and wait for it to be cancelled. We even got to go on an aeroplane once when they forgot to cancel it. I couldn’t believe it; I didn’t think they actually had any planes.” 

However, a spokesperson for Virgin, who are the owners of the Tiger Airways brand, but who inexplicably were not able to assist Tiger passengers when their flights were inevitably cancelled, said flights were only ever cancelled as an absolute last resort.

“We never like cancelling flights but sometimes we have to due to various factors, both in and outside our control. When we are forced to cancel a flight we try to make it as late as possible so the passengers are in a positive mood for the longest possible time.”

“It was a sad day when we shut down Tiger Airways, but it was for the best. The plane was coming up for rego and the tyres were pretty shit.” 


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