St Helier Deputy Mike Higgins said he was delighted to have secured the world-renowned aerobatic display team after they missed the 2019 and 2017 shows, and the 2020 Air Display was cancelled due to pandemic restrictions preventing large-scale gatherings from taking place.
This year’s Jersey International Air Display is due to take place on Thursday 9 September.
The Red Arrows were due to stop in Jersey ahead of the 2020 Guernsey Air Display, however the stop-off was cancelled. That was only the third time that the squadron had not visited the Island in more than 50 years.
The team did not feature in 2017 as they were ordered to take part in a diplomatic mission in Pakistan. After returning to Jersey’s skies in the 2018 display the Red Arrows were absent again in 2019 as they embarked on a nine-week diplomatic tour of the USA and Canada.
Deputy Higgins said: ‘It is great to have them back and confirmed for this year’s event. They are always the main attraction and some people will wait all day just to see them in action. It has been really difficult with delays due to Covid and it has taken some time to get confirmation of what is happening.’
In addition to the Red Arrows, Deputy Higgins confirmed that World War II aircraft the Avro Lancaster and the Spitfire would be returning this year.
For the first time, a Boeing 727 will also be appearing at the display. Deputy Higgins said that he had wanted to book a commercial aircraft for ‘some time’.
The event is still subject to Covid-19 restrictions and permission is required from the Bailiff’s Panel, although the Deputy said he was confident that the event would be able to go ahead. Under the government’s current roadmap for the easing of Covid restrictions, large-scale gatherings are due to be permitted from 14 June. Deputy Higgins said documents were being prepared for the Bailiff’s Panel to seek permission for the event.
‘We are looking at all avenues to make sure we can overcome any Covid-related hurdles,’ he said. ‘This could include extending the display line to allow access from the beach and creating spaces along the Avenue so people can watch from their cars,’ he said.