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Brian Jones

Winds of HopeBREITLING initiates another ROUND-THE-WORLD Balloon Flight

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the world’s first nonstop round-the-world hot-air balloon flight, Breitling is organizing another voyage that will circle the globe with Brian Jones in a replica of the famous Breitling Orbiter 3. Punctuated this time around by a number of stopovers on all continents, this adventure is intended to raise funds for the Winds of Hope foundation which emerged from the wave of enthusiasm generated by the grand historical record set in 1999.

In March 1999, Breitling Orbiter 3 won the last great aeronautical challenge of the 20th century: a nonstop round-the-world hot-air balloon flight. Breitling was associated in this amazing endeavor with a pair of dedicated pilots, Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones from England. The brand played a leading role in this exceptional feat by setting up a team of experts, supporting the construction of the high-tech Rozier balloon and by maintaining strong involvement throughout all stages of preparation and the flight itself. That same year, as a means of prolonging this magnificent scientific and human adventure, Breitling and the two balloonists created Winds of Hope with the aim of supporting humanitarian projects. Since then, the foundation’s efforts have focused essentially on the fight against noma, a devastatingly gangrenous and all too often fatal disease that mostly strikes children from poor countries, but which may be effectively treated if diagnosed early enough. Over the past ten years, Winds of Hope has contributed in particular to funding several national programs to fight noma in various countries of Africa.


To commemorate the 10th anniversary of a truly memorable achievement, Breitling is organizing a grand humanitarian round-the-world flight in a replica of the Breitling Orbiter 3. This classic hot-air balloon echoes the famous shape of the “Rozier” balloon used in 1999, of which the capsule is exhibited in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on Washington. The new hot-air balloon, flown by Brian Jones, will travel from continent to continent to take part in events organized by Breitling distributors or in top-rate air shows. It will in particular be used for passenger flights. The journey begins in Europe in mid-May with an event in The Netherlands, followed by the gathering of vintage airplanes at the “Klassikwelt Bodensee” show in Germany, and the 50th anniversary of the Transport Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland. At the end of July, the balloon will move on to South-East Asia, where it is to enliven a major watch show in Bangkok, before gliding across to the United States in September for the famous Breitling-sponsored Reno Air Races, and then on to Washington. After a Middle East stopover, the hot-air balloon will take part in the Saga Balloon Fiesta in Fukuoka, Japan held in October, before gracing the Caribbean skies above Curaçao, followed by Venezuela. In addition to their festive and commemorative nature, all these events are intended to raise funds for the Winds of Hope foundation and thus to give fresh impetus to the fight against noma, particularly in the regions of Africa where effective intervention has not yet been possible.