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. 

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! 

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 !
 
BALLOON FLIGHTS

BALLOON FLIGHTS

Would you like to take a balloon flight during the festival ? Passenger flights are organized each day enabling you to enjoy this unique experience !

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

Press

Every year, more than 90 national and international media cover our event! The organisation would like to thank the many journalists and photographers who show interest in the festival every year.

Organising committee

Emmanuel Andrez

Speaker

Adrien Blaser

Field safety

François Chappuis

Flight director

Sébastien Golay

Radio communications

Raphaël Morier

Gas management

Pays-d'Enhaut Région

Promotion and press

Céline Baux

Passenger flights

Virgile Boitel

Parking

Nicolas Chevalley

Event safety

David Henchoz

Flight commissioner

Lionel Overney

Finance, stands and drinks centre

Nelson Rodrigues

Infrastructure assistant

Murielle Turrian

Catering Landi

Martin Bertholet

Infrastructure

Patrice Cantin

Competitions and volunteers

Max Duncomb

Passenger flights

Dorine Henchoz

Sponsor reception and flights

Michèle Philipp

Flight administration

Ginger Schopfer

Event manager and general secretariat

Nos sponsors

Grisoni-Zaugg SA - Logo
Vitogaz - Logo
Loterie Romande - Logo
M&BD Consulting SA - Logo
Pays-d'Enhaut Région - Logo