Those planning to visit Kovászna/Covasna County now have an additional reason: they can admire the beautiful landscape from a height of up to 1,000 meters as part of an aerial trip in a hot air balloon. The Start-Up Nation grants program has brought Gyula and Izolda Kovács closer to their dream: to attract tourists to the region where they were born through a service unique to the area. Since December, X Balloon Transylvania has been available in Kézdivásárhely/Târgu Secuiesc, providing trips for both locals and tourists.
One morning, Gyula Kovács said to his wife that he wanted to become a hot air balloon pilot. So, he started looking for pilot schools and business financing opportunities, and he realized that this would be something he could launch as a business.
The startup grant announced by Ingenius Hub and the Kovászna/Covasna County Council came just at the right time to allow the Kovácses to start putting their idea down on paper, and they won the financing.
After successfully obtaining his pilot’s license in Hungary, Kovács ordered a hot air balloon from the Czech firm Kubíček, and it was delivered just four months later.
The couple had lived for seven years in Denmark, and when they finally moved back home, they found that tourism was on the rise in the area. This motivated them to consider launching a business that was unique to the region so that they could attract more tourists and show them the beauty of Transylvania and Kézdivásárhely.
X Balloon Transylvania currently provides two main experiences: a tethered ride and an aerial trip.
The first ride means the balloon is tethered at three points and then lifted so those in the basket can enjoy the view from a height of 30 meters. The aerial trip is really special because it is more complex and the balloon reaches an altitude of up to 1,000 meters.
Since the December launch, alongside local customers, X Balloon Transylvania has shown the beauty of Kézdiszék to tourists from Braila, Kolozs/Cluj County, Bucharest, and more, Gyula Kovács tells TransylvaniaNOW. While it’s not exactly a cheap trip at RON 600 (~€125), the company’s pricing is in the affordable range, even for locals, compared to other companies from Romania and abroad.
The hot air balloon basket the Kovács couple owns is limited to four people (plus the pilot) during autumn and winter, and to less than four during spring and summer. For now, they are flying only above the upper Háromszék region, but Kovács says they have big plans for the future, such as exploring other areas and buying additional balloons as the interest in such excursions gains traction. For now, they are offering their service as a way to make weddings extra special and are negotiating with hotels to include hot air balloon flights in their packages as well.