An adventurous family has taken colourful balloon flights across Melbourne to celebrate Victoria's ascent back to normality after the pandemic lockdown.
The Saunders family flew five balloons from Royal Park across the CBD and down to Moorabbin Airport, hoping to inspire others fighting for their business survival.
A 23-year-old Arctic and Antarctic expedition guide, an Australian ballooning Hall of Famer and a hot air balloon altitude record-holder are some of the family members who took part on Friday morning.
With almost half of their patrons coming from China, Global Ballooning Australi's Kiff Saunders saw his family business deflated early on in the pandemic.
They shut down in March, but since last Monday, the company's phone started ringing again with calls to put balloons back into the Melbourne sky.
"This was catastrophic for our family business. But we're trying to be optimistic and positive and get back to what we do and love," Mr Saunders said.
Having put in place a COVID-19 policy and safe plan to reopen, Mr Saunders will adapt his business so people can enjoy more private flights across Melbourne.
Having gained his gliding license at just 15, Mr Saunders is the grandson of one of Australia's early aviators, Edward Macarthur-Onslow.
Mr Saunders family was scheduled to participate in a number of events, including the world's oldest aviation race, as well as putting a balloon up at the North Pole.
Australian Associated Press
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