Presentation of the postage stamp and press conference Murska Sobota 11 July 2022

HABC2022 Tiskovna konferenca predstavitev slike in polet z balonom

At the initiative of the Philatelic Union of Slovenia, Post of Slovenia issued a new special stamp with the motif of hot air balloons on July 11, thus commemorating this top sporting event before the start of the 24th World Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2022. As mail was once delivered by hot-air balloons, on this occasion the balloon flew from the Expano pavilion and delivered the first package with this new special stamp.

The World Hot Air Balloon Championship in flying with hot air balloons, which will take place from September 16 to 23 in Murska Sobota, will be this year’s biggest international sports event in our country. The organizers are the ROTO Balloon Club, the Murska Sobota Municipality, the Slovenian Air Force and the Murska Sobota Aeroklub. “We are proud to host 105 balloon teams from around the world and 40 festival balloons. This means that we will be able to admire as many as 150 colorful balloons in the air, and even more than that: visitors will also be able to watch the competition from a balloon, as reservations for commercial flights are already available on the website,” said Matjaž Pavlinjek, president of ROTO balloon club and general manager of the World Hot Air Balloon Championship organization.

HABC2022 Tiskovna konferenca predstavitev slike in polet z balonom

The event of global proportions was also commemorated by Post Slovenia, which on July 11, 2022 issued a special postage stamp with the theme of the world hot air balloon championship and the cover of the first day, together with a special stamp. M.Sc. Bojan Bračič, president of the Philatelic Association of Slovenia, said, among other things, that stamps create stories, and he wished the competitors many spectators and good results. “We hope that with such special editions we will also attract new, young members among philatelists, as interest in this interesting horse is declining. The stamp with the motif of a hot air balloon brings to the world the announcement of the event – the 24th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship in Murska Sobota.” During the World Championship, Expano will host an exhibition of stamps with motifs of balloons and balloon mail from all over the world.

HABC2022 Tiskovna konferenca predstavitev slike in polet z balonom

Ph.D. Jože Nemec from the Maribor Philatelic Society thanked Pošta Slovenije for this wonderful gesture, which was realized in a record short time, and explained that the application for issuing a new postage stamp must be submitted at least two years in advance: “I am glad that this project succeeded, as it involves the promotion of both balloon sports and philatelists.”

At Post Slovenia, they make sure that thousands of parcels find their addressees every day, and issuing occasional stamps is one of the most beautiful parts of their job, said mag. Simona Koser Šavora, who also officially put the new special postage stamp into circulation. Its author is the illustrator Luka Seme, the value is the letter mark B, which means that it is intended for ordinary mail up to 50 g in domestic traffic. “Having its own postage stamp is a great honor for the event and is not something to be taken for granted – this stamp is also a great promoter of Slovenia.”

We wish the brand a happy journey and may it spread the word about the World Cup far and even further!

HABC2022 Tiskovna konferenca predstavitev slike in polet z balonom

We also learned how the stamp performs in the air, because after 150 years we revived the balloon mail from the time of Empress Maria Theresa. The honor of delivering the first shipment with the new postage stamp went to Nives Orešnik.

Press conference Ljubljana 23. June 2022

Predstavitev svetovnega prvenstva v poletih s toplozračnimi baloni Murska Sobota 2022

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.”

Toplozračni balon ROTO special shape

“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.

Predstavitev svetovnega prvenstva v poletih s toplozračnimi baloni Murska Sobota 2022

105 competitors from 34 countries registered for the World Championship

Piloti tekmovalci HABC2022

We are proud to announce that 105 competitors from 34 countries have entered the 24th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2022.

Between 16. and 23. September 2022 Murska Sobota will host this year’s top aviation event: the 24th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2022. 105 competitors have entered the World Championships in just two rounds. In addition to a colourful group of elite pilots from all over the world, visitors will also enjoy a rich accompanying programme with Airshow and have the opportunity to fly in a hot air balloon.

You can see the list of competitors and their balloons here.

Hot Air Balloons in Murska Sobota open season 2022

Novoletni balonarski polet 2022

On January 2, 2022, the pilots of hot air balloons gathered in Murska Sobota and opened the 2022 season with a traditional new year flight.

This year is very important for Slovenian balloonists, as the 24th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2022 will take place between 16 and 23 September 2022 in Murska Sobota. Over 150 best balloons will gather at the World Championships, which will cover the beautiful sky over Pomurje Region with colorful balloons.

Photo: Melita Marič

Hot Air Balloons brought St Nicholas to Murska Sobota

Miklavžev balonarski festival 2021

On 6th December, the traditional St Nicholas Balloon Festival took place in Murska Sobota.

This year, the hot air balloon pilots also brought St Nicholas to Murska Sobota to give presents to the hard-working children. This year, 12 ballooning teams took part in the St Nicholas Ballooning Festival, which was organised for the 10th year in a row. Despite the cancellation of the traditional “St Nicholas Fair”, the balloonists decided to continue the tradition and brought St Nicholas to Murska Sobota. This gesture was a nice surprise for the children from the Murska Sobota kindergarten, who got to see the real St Nicholas and receive a small present from him. The St. Nicholas Hot Air Ballooning Festival was thus a nice end of the year for Slovenian balloonists and an overture to the upcoming 24th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2022.

Photo: Melita Marič

22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship 2021 Szeged Hungary

22. FAI Evropsko prvenstvo v poletih s toplozračnimi baloni Szeged Madžarska

From 12 to 18 September 2021 the 22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship took place in Szeged, Hungary. The European Championship was attended by 81 competing pilots and 19 Fiesta pilots.

The competition was attended by Slovenian pilots Vito Rome, who finished in an excellent 13th place, Jernej Bojanovič, who took 40th place, and Dejan Buzeti, who took 61st place. Radoš Švagelj flew for Slovenia in a special shape hot air balloon “ROTO WWTP”. Congratulations to all participants of the 22nd FAI European Hot Air Balloon Championship Szeged 2021.

Registered Pilots – Slovenian Open Nationals 2020

Registered Pilots Slovenian Open National Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2020

Dear pilots, we kindly ask you to check if you are on the list of registered pilots for the Slovenian Open Hot Air Balloon Championship Murska Sobota 2020. If you are not on the list, please let us know via email:

Marián Hraňo
Aleš Švagelj
Marija Petrić Mikloušić
Igor Mikloušić
Igor Divjak
Jernej Bojanovič
Dejan Buzeti
Helmut Pöttler
Daniel Kusternigg
Peter Molnar
Branko Ambrožič
Werner Schrank
Vytautas Junevičius
Christoph Fraisl
Vito Rome
Thomas Kindermann-Schön

Registered for FIESTA 2020

Štefan Bertalanič
Igor Centrih
Andrej Senekovič
Radoš Švagelj
Hans Pravda
Tamara Divjak

First official flight of Slovenian special shape hot air balloon “ROTO wastewater treatment plant”

Krst ROTO balona čistilna naprava

At the airport in Murska Sobota, Slovenian balloonists performed the “first ceremonial flight” of a new Slovenian special shape hot air balloon “ROTO wastewater treatment plant”.

Although the new ROTO special shape hot air balloon was already shown to the public for the first time in Kranjska Gora, it was necessary to prepare an official first ceremonial flight for it and wish it many safe flights and soft landings.

The special shape hot air balloon “ROTO wastewater treatment plant” was created for the purpose of promoting products from the WATER program of the renowned Slovenian company ROTO. Before the balloon rose above the Murska Sobota plain, it was christened with sparkling wine and addressed by the director of ROTO company mr. Štefan Pavlinjek, who wished the balloonists many safe flights. After ceremony new hot air balloon ROTO wastewater treatment plant rose into the air in the company of numerous balloons from all over the Slovenia and colored the sky over Murska Sobota.

Authors of photographs: Nina Lepoša, Simon Ravnič in Matjaž Pavlinjek

HAB2020 postponed to 2022

HABC2020 postponed

Dear all!

We would like to inform you that organization team of 24th World Hot air balloon Championship in Slovenia has decided to postpone competition from 2020 to the year 2022.

The reason for decision, is unpredictable epidemic situation, duration of the restrictions, as well taking into consideration the risk of teams, organizers and audience’s health.

Please understand that it was a hard decision, but it was coordinated between everybody involved, including the FAI/CIA, LZS and the mayor of Murska Sobota municipality.

The final dates for the 2022 World Championship have not yet been decided, but will be known by the end of the year. We will inform you about the new dates and details.

The registration fee will be refunded to all of you, who have already paid it. For refund request please fill out this form:

In the sporting spirit of the competition, please continue to follow us. Everybody registered will be invited to the Slovenian Hot Air Balloon Open Nationals. Further information will be known soon.

Thank you for your understanding
ORG Team

Extension of 2nd round deadline

HAB2020 extension of 2nd round

Dear Pilots!

Due to the actual pandemic situation, it is difficult to foresee the duration of the actual restrictions.

Because of that we decided to postpone the 2nd round deadline to June 25th, instead of June 1st 2020.

Final decision GO / No-Go about the event will be published on 18th of June.

After two month of lockdown Slovenia already eases coronavirus restrictions. Now we entered “phase 2” of its lockdown, as companies reopen with social distancing measures in place.

Slovenians must wear face masks on public transportation and in public spaces. Pubs and restaurant are open and can accept the guest in open and closed space now.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,
ORG Team