Breitling is delighted to announce that the humanitarian round-the-world tour, launched in 2009 to commemorate the feat achieved by Breitling Orbiter 3 ten years earlier, has already served to raise almost one hundred thousand euros (USD 140,000) to be devoted to fighting one of the most dreadful diseases to affect children.
This odyssey celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight involves a «hot-air balloon» replica of the famous Breitling Orbiter 3, flown by Brian Jones – one of the two heroes of the original record-setting accomplishment in 1999. In addition to a number of stopovers in Europe, the journey to date has provided opportunities to visit Israel, Japan, Australia and the United States – as well as a detour via Curaçao in the Dutch West Indies, where no balloon had ever yet ventured.
The funds raised during this round-the-world tour organized by Breitling are intended to support the fight against noma, a devastating and fatal disease which – as Brian Jones explained in a number of presentations – disfigures and kills tens of thousands of children around the world every year. The Winds of Hope foundation, created by Breitling and the two balloon pilots, Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard, just after their exploit, aims to eradicate this scourge by launching prevention and early-screening programs in the most severely affected countries. The foundation is currently active in five African countries, and the funds raised in recent months will enable it to begin taking action in at least two other countries.
This world tour is to continue in 2010, with several events to be held in Ireland, Switzerland and North America.