ORGANISERS of the Bournemouth Air Festival remain "confident" that they will be able to host this year's event – despite three other summer UK airshows being grounded due to the pandemic.

In the past few days it is has been announced that Southport, Sunderland and Blackpool air shows will not be taking place this year.

Southport Air Show was due to take place on July 3 and 4, Sunderland was pencilled in for July 23, 24 and 25, and Blackpool was fixed for August 7 and 8.

Bournemouth Air Festival director Jon Weaver highlighted that the event is due to take place in early September, 10 weeks after final stage of the Government's road map out of lockdown.

Mr Weaver said if the road map continues as planned, the organising team believe the event can take place.

Sefton Council said it could not allow Southport Air Show to go ahead as at present "there is no certainty that the event would be allowed to take place on the scale that such an iconic event deserves".

Sunderland City Council did not give specific reasons for the decision to cancel, but Fiona Brown, executive director of neighbourhoods, said the call had been made "following careful consideration", adding: "The safety and wellbeing of our residents and visitors is paramount and we must continue to do everything we can to support the coronavirus recovery in the city."

Councillor Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council's cabinet member for tourism and culture, said it had been an "extremely difficult decision".

“As it stands, there is no ready-made solution for managing large-scale outdoor events such as the air show and so it makes it impossible to plan ahead," she said.

Bournemouth Air Festival is due to take place from September 2 to 5 and would attract hundreds of thousands of people to the area.

At present, none of the display teams have been announced for this year's event.

Mr Weaver said: “Like all outdoor events that are being planned this year, they will only take place provided they comply with the Government’s Covid measures to deliver a safe event. Looking at the Government’s current road map, it is our view that after June 21, should all the Government’s milestones be met, we are confident that we will be able to host the Bournemouth Air Festival in 2021.

“As part of the planning process, we have been – and will be – actively working with members of the air festival safety advisory group who include representatives from the emergency services and public health. We will continually consider any impact on the ability to deliver the festival safely, should there be any changes to the road map timetable and social distancing requirements. The air festival takes place at the beginning of September after the peak holiday season.

“BCP Council continues to actively support the recovery of the economy, including the local tourism and hospitality sector and recognises the air festival can make an important contribution to that recovery.”