COVID-19 grounds plans for transatlantic balloon flight from N.B. for second year

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FREDERICTON — For the second consecutive year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a British couple to postpone plans for a record-breaking transatlantic balloon flight from New Brunswick.

Deborah Day and Mike Scholes had been planning to fly from Sussex, N.B., to Europe, but they say the Delta variant is becoming more widespread in the United Kingdom and many European countries have imposed restrictions on U.K. residents.

They say they also have moral concerns about making the flight while there are thousands of people suffering from COVID-19 in countries where they may land.

Scholes said in an email statement on Monday they hope to try again in June 2022.

If successful, Day would become the first woman in command of a transatlantic balloon crossing, while Scholes would become the first blind crew member on such a trip.

The couple will be flying a 27-metre Rozière balloon that uses helium in a cell at the top and hot air below.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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