SWANSEA’S Wales Airshow has had another brilliant year with hundreds of thousands of people descending on the city to enjoy the country’s biggest free show.
Two days of flying featuring The Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and fighter planes from World War I proved irresistible to visitors from all over the UK.
Across the weekend, huge crowds turned up to enjoy a whole range of shows on the ground as well as in the air.
Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Innovation, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “It was yet another fantastic weekend for Swansea.
“The Airshow contributes more than £8.4m to local businesses and local economy every year. It’s been a brilliant Airshow.
“Thanks to the clear skies, we had our best ever Saturday with tens of thousands of people on the beach soaking up the sunshine and the show. We’re still evaluating Sunday’s figures after the rain but it has been a truly amazing weekend. Despite the showers, Sunday’s show still went ahead and we only had to cancel two of the 18 flying displays.”
For safety and security reasons this year’s show saw road closures on Oystermouth Road, but this also meant that visitors had more space to enjoy increased ground displays including a rare appearance on the ground of a RAF Red Arrow.
Cllr Francis-Davies said: “This year the RAF is celebrating its 100th anniversary, we’re commemorating the centenary of the end of World War I and Saturday was Armed Forces Day.
“The Wales Airshow was the perfect platform for all these occasions – a mix of old favourites as well as new recruits such as live music featuring local bands on the ground and the Bremont Great War Team including British SE5 biplanes and a German Junkers CL1.
Cllr Francis-Davies said: “The real stars of the show, apart from those in the skies, were the hundreds of thousands of people who come to enjoy a day out or a weekend in Swansea. The family atmosphere they helped generate resulted in one of the best weekends the city has seen.
“Following so closely on from BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend in Singleton Park and seven days after The Killers took the Liberty Stadium by storm, it just proved that Swansea has got the biggest and best stage for summer events.”
“I also want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the tremendous effort put in by council staff, South Wales Police and by our other partners to make the event such a brilliant showcase. I’d also like to thank our sponsors who help to support the sustainability of the Show.
“We’re confident that the thousands of visitors who enjoyed themselves this year will return to Swansea Bay again soon. We are already looking forward to the rest of this year’s events calendar, giving more people even more reasons to visit this year.”