Phaway Atacama Ballooning Experience was founded in 2014 by Chilean Javier Chame and professional balloonists Maaike Bierma and Paul Gibbs from Australia. Javier recognised the unique beauty of the Atacama when seen from the air. Maaike and Paul brought more than three decades of ballooning experience with them. Together the three set about founding passenger balloon flights in the Atacama Desert.
During Phaway’s 2014 winter flying season in San Pedro we met with and flew tourism partners, Reserva Nacional officials and local representatives. Our work proved the weather, desert environment and local interest ideal for Phaway’s luxury adventure experience. We were delighted to commence regular passenger flights in 2016.
Phaway’s flight operations and maintenance facilities are fully approved by Chile’s Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC). Phaway operates under DGAC Certificado De Operador Servicios Aereos #1356. Our pilots are handpicked industry professionals with years of experience worldwide, thousands of flying hours and a passion for lighter-than-air flight. They each hold a Chilean Commercial Pilot Licence and Class 1 Aviation medical, in addition to professional aviation qualifications from Latin America, Europe, Canada and Australia. Our crew are expert local guides trained to Phaway’s exacting standards.
Our aircraft are built by Kavanagh Balloons of Sydney, Australia, a bespoke manufacturer who builds type-certified passenger balloons for operators in the world’s toughest environments including Africa, Australia’s Outback and now Chile’s Atacama desert. Phaway’s technical and maintenance staff are manufacturer trained and DGAC licenced.
Phaway is fully committed to guest safety and comfort. Our team receives regular and ongoing training in all aspects of our operation and we use an ICAO compliant Safety Management System. All Phaway passengers are insured by Lloyds Underwriters through CSP Aviation London.
Within our dedicated San Pedro team we cater for Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch and Hebrew speaking guests and we pride ourselves on friendly, professional service. Phaway’s directors live in San Pedro de Atacama and look forward to personally welcoming you.