As one of Switzerland's most anticipated winter events, the festival is renowned around the world for the beauty of the surroundings and the complexity of the flying conditions.

As a visiting card for Château-d’Œx, the festival contributes greatly to the region’s reputation around the world. Over the nine days of the festival the general public can enjoy a varied programme of demonstration flights and competitions. 

the festival in figures

43
events. Plenty of enthusiasm, laughter, encounters and flights
4
types of lighter-than-air craft (balloons, dirigibles, single-seaters, mini-balloons)
15'000
copies of the official programme printed and distributed each year
60
pilots
15
countries represented
20'000 - 35'000
spectators in attendance each year
4
types of air display (planes, helicopters, paragliders, skydivers)
60
dedicated volunteers 
20
members of the organizing committee
60
hot air balloons
Sponsors

Sponsors

We are only able to stage the 9-day event thanks to the valuable support provided by our sponsors and partners.
VOLUNTEERS

VOLUNTEERS

Would you like to find out what goes on behind the scenes at the festival ? Join the volunteer team now !
 
amis du ballon

amis du ballon

You can help support the International Balloon Festival and the Espace Ballon and discover the Pays-d’Enhaut’s flagship event from the inside !

history

February 1979, the Tourist Office organises the 1st International Hot Air Balloon Week with the collaboration of Hans Bücker, 12 balloons from 5 different countries attend the event. This inaugural event raises the profile of Château-d’Œx both in Switzerland and abroad. David Niven, the famous actor and star of «Around the World in 80 Days», sponsored the first event.

February 1994, the 4th World Hot-Air Ballooning Championship. This was the first time that an event of this kind took place in the Swiss mountains during winter. 16 pilots from 9 countries competed in 12 events held around the Pays-d'Enhaut. Julia Kourotchkina (Miss World 1993) and Roger Moore, alias «James Bond», were the godmother and godfather of that year’s event.

March 1999, the Breitling Orbiter III, designed by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, took off from Château-d'Œx on March the 1st at 9:05 am. After a flight lasting 19 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes, they landed in the Egyptian desert on March 21st at 6:57 am. This was the first round-the-world balloon flight and it broke both the flight time and distance records (45,755 km).

2010, the 32nd edition suffered due to overcast weather conditions. This was the first time the Night Glow had to be cancelled. On the positive side, the programme was extended to include other types of aircraft. A magnificent flight also took place celebrating 10 years of the twinning of the towns of Bristol (UK), Romorantin (FR), Sint-Niklaas (BE) and Château-d’Œx (CH).

2017, all possible flight windows were exploited during the event. The pilots accumulated over 800 flight hours and 611 take-offs took place. We also witnessed the take-off of the gas balloon piloted by Nicolas Tièche and Laurent Sciboz, which landed in the French Jura after 21 hours in the air. After a 5-year absence, the Night Glow once again provided a unique spectacle during the climax of the event.

2023,this year marked the 43rd year of the International Balloon Festival! 

Organising committee

Michèle Philipp

Flights sector

François Chappuis

Flight director

Tristan Henchoz

Assistant flight director

Céline Baux

Passenger flights

Max Duncomb

Passenger flights

David Henchoz

Flight commissioner

Patrice Cantin

Competitions and volunteers

Raphaël Morier

Gas management

Dorine Henchoz

Reception and sponsor flights 

Ginger Schopfer

General coordination

Nicolas Chevalley

Event safety

Lionel Overney

Finance, stands and drinks

Murielle Turrian

Restoration Landi

Pays-d'Enhaut Région

Promotion, press and sponsor

Emmanuel Andrez

Animator

Martin Bertholet

Infrastructure

Nelson Rodrigues

Infrastructure assistant

Virgile Boitel

Parking

Adrien Blaser

Field safety

Sébastien Golay

Wireless communication

Nos sponsors

RTS Radio Télévision Suisse - Logo
Grisoni-Zaugg SA - Logo
M&BD Consulting SA - Logo
Gruyère énergie SA - Logo
Vitogaz - Logo
Loterie Romande - Logo
Pays-d'Enhaut Région - Logo