ORGANISERS have hailed this year’s Sunderland International Airshow a soaraway success.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors flocked to Roker and Seaburn seafront for the three-day event - now in its 26th year – which ended today.
It is estimated that nearly half a million people attended the event on Saturday alone, soaking up dazzling displays both in the air and on the ground, and fantastic weather.
After a revised start to the weekend due to weather conditions, the event took off with live music and ground displays.
Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture said: “Not being able to hold the flying display on Friday evening was a great disappointment.
“Despite this, I think everyone who was along the seafront entered into the spirit of the launch event and got the weekend off to a great start. The music was excellent and the bands were more than happy to extend their sets to keep everyone entertained.
“On Saturday and Sunday we were rewarded with fantastic weather and the support from the huge numbers of visitors was a pleasure to see. Each year we continue to deliver a truly impressive event that showcases what the city and its beautiful seafront has to offer.”
Highlights included two displays from the Red Arrows as part of their 50th Annivesary year, Norwegian Historic Squadron’s Vampire jet, a P-51Mustang and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Sunderland City Council’s airshow director, Sue Stanhope said: “It’s been great to see so many people enjoying the event, the coastline and our city.
“After landing, many of the crews choose to stay in Sunderland over the weekend and enjoy making the most of the city’s legendary hospitality.”
Organised on behalf of Sunderland City Council by Sunderland Live, the airshow takes place on the city’s coastline alongside and above Roker and Seaburn beaches.
Chris Alexander, chief operating officer of Sunderland Live, said: “The Sunderland International Airshow continues to put the city on the map. We are proud to work with Sunderland City Council to deliver probably by far the largest event in the North East.
“By working with business partners, display teams and exhibitors both old and new, we are continuing to find new and innovative ways of developing the airshow and attracting visitors from near and far.”