A hugely popular air display is set to be cancelled next year – as its main attraction, the Red Arrows, are unable to attend.
Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC), which puts on the Folkestone Air Display, confirmed the event would be scrapped for 2024.
It comes as the Red Arrows, the much-loved RAF display team, engage in a series of international events next summer – preventing them from attending the show.
And council bosses say they have no desire to risk funding a potentially less popular display than in previous years.
FHDC leader Cllr Jim Martin said: “We know this will be disappointing as the air display is greatly enjoyed by residents, visitors and our local businesses.
“But the Red Arrows are the star attraction and without them we felt that the air display would not have the same impact and bring in fewer visitors to enjoy what our district has to offer.
“We have a tough financial year ahead so will be using money planned for the air display in other ways to provide support for events in our district benefitting our businesses and the local economy.”
The RAF’s aerobatic display team has been performing since 1965, often in their trademark diamond nine shape - although now performing as a formation of eight aircraft.
They have flown almost 5,000 displays in 57 countries.
Its previous visit to Folkestone in August was hugely successful, with spectators coming from all over the county to admire the show.
The 2023 show was the biggest one in the town since 2014 when a private firm ran the display before running into major financial difficulties.
Reaction to the news has been largely negative, with some lamenting the loss of the show whilst others took aim at FHDC for cancelling the event because of the Red Arrows.
Keren Watson said: “Stupid, there are other planes and display teams - air show isn’t all about the red arrows.”
Stephen West added: “Oh no, what a disaster for the town.”
However, support for the move was found in some corners with Ian Johnstone saying: “I am glad about the airshow not taking place as the noise and traffic here at the harbour area got unbearable last year.”
It is not yet known if the show will return for 2025 though council bosses will be hoping it can make a successful return.