On 23 June 2022, a press conference was held in Ljubljana, where we presented the 24th FAI World Hot Air Ballooning Championships Murska Sobota 2022 to the press.
This year, between 16 and 23 September, Murska Sobota will host the largest aerial sports event in Slovenia, the 24th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2022, where more than 150 balloons will be in the air. 105 competitive ballooning teams from 34 countries will compete over six days of competition. We are also preparing a rich accompanying programme for visitors; commercial flights will be available for anyone who would like to go ballooning during the Championships.
Štefan Pavlinjek, Chairman of the World Championships Organising Committee,
predicts another top-class sporting event: ‘This is truly the biggest sporting event on our soil this year, and we are very proud of it in Pomurje. This is a great recognition for Slovenian ballooning and a very responsible task for the organising committee. Here comes a new generation of young, ambitious and enthusiastic pilots who are pushing the boundaries of ballooning. This year’s World Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2022 will be even more challenging in terms of organisation, with 800 competing teams alone.”
“We have some excellent hot air balloon pilots in Slovenia, who have achieved outstanding results in international competitions. This year, Vito Rome, Dejan Buzeti and Jernej Bojanovič will represent our country at the World Championships. We will also host the current World Champion Dominic Bareford, the current Women’s World Champion Daria Dudkiewicz-Golawska and two Junior World Champions Roy Gommer and Jan Suchy,” said Goran Grgič, Deputy Director of the World Championships.
This will not only be an event for the highest ranking competitors, but a ballooning spectacle, promises Matjaž Pavlinjek, President of the ROTO Balloon Club and General Director of the World Hot Air Balloon Championship, “The multitude of colourful balloons in the air is definitely a feast for the eyes, which will surely attract a lot of hot air balloon enthusiasts from Slovenia and abroad to the Pomurje region. This type of sport competition is an enrichment of Pomurje’s tourist offer, together with the Expano exhibition pavilion and many other attractions, and at the same time it builds up Slovenia’s visibility in the world.”
This year, the organisers are preparing a rich accompanying programme for the general public. On the evening before the opening ceremony on 16 September, there will be a concert “Godba fest” with various brass bands, and once again we will enjoy the sight of magically illuminated gas balloons and their take-off. The main attractions of the opening event on 17 September, where up to 10,000 people are expected, will be the one-hour EXPANO AIROSHOW and KEY GRAB, an attractive discipline in which balloons compete to see who can pick up the key in the middle of Lake Soboško. Among the most photogenic moments will surely be the evening group take-offs (FLY-OUT) and morning group arrivals (FLY-IN) of more than 100 balloons in the surroundings of the Murska Sobota Airport and the NIGHT GLOW, at night 40 festival balloons will shine in a special glow, in all colours and shapes.