Our Experienced Team

Chief Pilot Peter Kollar

Nationality: Hungarian

Captain Peter is the perfect person to show you our breathtakingly beautiful Dubai desert. He has done over 3500 flights in the last 26 years and has German, Italian, New Zealand and United Arab Emirates commercial pilot licences. Peter is also a hot air balloon / skydiving world record holder and an instructor. He speaks five languages and happy to share some amazing stories with you over breakfast.

Passion: He often says: “I am one of the truly lucky guys. My job is to make people happy! ”

Motto: Build bridges rather than walls between people.

Senior Pilot Michael Schaefer

Nationality: German

Michael is a very passionate and experienced pilot with more than 1500 Commercial flights. He has flown balloons commercially in Germany, Austria, Switzerland & UAE.

Motto: Life might not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.”

Passion: Michael is an avid photographer and many of his masterpieces are for display and sale.

Captain Andrew Parker

Nationality: New Zealand

Andrew had an interest in balloons ever since he saw his first balloon six years old. He joined his local Hot Air Balloon Club when he was 13 and started flying when he was only 16! He achieved his Commercial Balloon Pilot’s Licence at the age of 19 while living in Australia. He then went to Europe to fly, before buying a balloon business of his own in New Zealand just after his 20th birthday. Andrew has flown in 40 countries and has lived in Europe, Australia, Brazil, Russia and Turkey.

Passion: Andrew has his own project, called the Flying High For Kids World Balloon Project. While he is not flying in Dubai, he drives around the world, flying a UNICEF branded balloon in different countries, bringing smiles to kids’ faces and raising awareness for UNICEF’s important work.”

Captain Donatas Stakeliunas

Nationality: Lithuanian

At a very young age Donatas showed an interest in ballooning, starting to build balloon models from paper which a polyethylene film. His passion continued and Donatas participated in the Lithuanian National Balloon team in European and World Balloon Championship with the great result of 3rd place in World Hot Air Balloon Championship and second in Lithuanian National Balloon Championship 2004.

Experience: Donatas has more than 1500 Commercial flights on flown in Turkey-Kapadokya, Kenya-Masai Mara, Germany and Lithuania.”

Passion: Donatas is also a fixed wing Pilot.

Captain Jelke Haven

Nationality: Dutch

Jelke comes from a ballooning family. His father started flying balloons in the 80’s and he was one of the first balloonist in Holland. Also his mother, brother, uncle, niece and cousin fly balloons. He got his commercial license in 1992 at the aged of 17 and was youngest balloon pilot in Holland. He has flown balloons in Morocco, France, Belgium, Spain, Mallorca, Germany, Austria, Andorra, Portugal and has more than 2,200 flights under his belt.

Motto: Cherish your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows and live your todays.

Passion: Traveling around the world and meeting new people.

Captain Richard Sandrasagara

Nationality: Sri Lankan

It only took one hot air balloon flight to get Richard hooked. At the age of 22 his second flight was in the pilot compartment with an instructor in France training at the acclaimed La Fédération Française d’Aérostation.

Richard has now logged close to 2000 commercial balloon flights in Sri Lanka, France, India and the UAE, making him one of the youngest and most experienced pilots globally.

He is the first Sri Lankan Commercial Balloon Pilot and speaks fluent English, French and Sinhalese. We’re wondering if he will pick up on some Arabic too soon!

Passion: In his free time Richard splits his time between hitting the basketball courts and the beach. He can also play a good tune on the guitar.

Favourite Quote:

‘You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one.’ John Lennon, Imagine

Captain Sanjay Gupta

Nationality: Indian

Hot Air Balloons run strong in Sanjay’s family. His Uncle Vishwa was the Pioneer of Balloons in India, and Sanjay started flying with him at an early age of 15. He got his commercial license in Hot Air Balloons in The Netherlands in 1992, but he didn’t stop traveling there! After this Sanjay flew Hot Air Balloons in the USA, Australia, Turkey and Kenya! After a long stint in Kenya as Chief Pilot at Governors Balloon Safaris, Sanjay moved to Dubai and flies Balloons for Balloon Adventures Emirates with pleasure.

Passion: Travel, Cooking, Riding Motorcycles

Favourite Quote: “I have exchanged a 9 to 5 lifestyle for a 5 to 9 lifestyle”.

CAPTAIN ROBERTAS KOMZA

Nationality: Lithuanian

With more than 25 years’ in the industry and over 3000 flight hours, his diverse experience with flying different sizes, types and shapes of balloons all around the world makes him an extremely knowledgeable and highly-skilled pilot. He is not only the Ballooning Competition Director of many national and international events but he is also the former Champion pilot of Lithuania and South Africa.

Passion: He owns a pilot school where both his sons, brother, brother-in-law and more than 50 other people have trained to become qualified pilots.

Motto: To become a pilot you need two things – a cool head and a warm heart.