Battle of the balloons
Is the airspace above the Pays d’Enhaut and Saanenland big enough for three ballooning companies? Just 15km from Gstaad, Château-d’Oex is a renowned center for alpine ballooning. This January, the popular Festival des Ballons will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. Following several years of financial difficulties for the local ballooning company, Sky Event, news that a French company, France Montgolfières, is setting up shop in Château-d’Oex is causing something of a stir. Sky Event is in a tight spot. The potential for expanding the ballooning clientele is limited, especially given that the number of flights in the valley has remained stable year after year. With their first flights planned for mid-December, France Montgolfières claims that they wish to entice more of Gstaad’s clientele. Do they really think that Sky Event, as well as Château-d’Oex’s other balloonist Florent Jobin, didn’t think of that?