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Folkestone Airshow makes loss despite huge crowds as organisers Open Air Promotions say next year's event may not go ahead

By Sam Lennon

Folkestone Airshow may not go ahead next year because it has made a loss at the weekend.

Figures have not yet been confirmed, but organisers Open Air Promotions say the amount made has been "disappointing" and next year's event is "extremely doubtful".

The show had been cancelled last year because lack of funding and an inability to satisfy safety requirements.

The Red Arrows in action at Folkestone Airshow

This year's event attracted a maximum 190,000 people over Saturday and Sunday - close to the anticipated figure of 200,000.

But Open Air says that finance has been the single major blow.

Yvonne Holder, one of the directors, said: "The event was well organised and safely managed, in areas such as traffic, and on that by itself was a huge success.

"But we did not collect enough money and so I am not at all confident that we can have an airshow next year, in fact it is extremely doubtful."

Ms Holder said a major source of income was the park and ride system from Folkestone Racecourse and Radnor Park, which was under-used.

She said: "I was even going around with a collection bucket in my hand and people were not giving. We didn't event sell enough programmes and a lot had to be binned."

The airshow had been blessed with warm, sunny weather, with the last of the rain clearing just before the opening air display by the RAF Red Arrows on Saturday at noon.

Crowds packed the Leas at Folkestone to watch the air displays

The Leas and Harbour area of Folkestone was filled with visitors and static displays, such as those of a Second World War Hawker Hurricane and Spitfire.

Also on view were lines of classic cars and an Armed Forces Village, which included men dressed as 1940s paratroopers.

Other major air displays included the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, with Spitfires and Hurricanes, and RAF Search and Rescue helicopter exercises and parachute jumps from the Tigers Freefall Team.

Musical entertainment had also been provided by the Abba tribute group Bjorn Again, peforming on Saturday night at Folkestone Seafront and that was followed by a fireworks display.

Additional music acts during the weekend included the Thin Lizzy tribute band Think Lizzy, the Soul Monkeys and The Rock Choir.

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