Bournemouth Air Festival: Thousands descend on seafront to watch world-class displays

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

Thousands of people enjoyed bird's eye views on Thursday (2 September) in Bournemouth on the return of the Air Festival after two years.

The world famous Red Arrows wowed spectators along the seafront for the first time in three years.

Squadron Leader Adam Collins said: "When you're into the display, you're not really aware of how many people are down on the ground. But certainly beforehand and afterwards that's when you appreciate there could be a million people here over the weekend.

"The apprehension that we feel is really about doing a good job and making sure we adhere to the standards the public expect."

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Organisers say they're glad to be back after overcoming what they described as 'huge challenges'.

Director Jon Weaver said: "This festival is worth an estimated £30 million to the local economy. So it's all about building that industry back up again and making sure that it maintains its high profile as a number one place to come to."

Displays also include RAF Typhoon, Chinook and a full Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Civilian aircraft will also be on display including the SuperPitts Muscle Bi-Plane and the AeroSuperBatics.

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Jon Egging

This year marks 10 years since Red Arrows pilot, Jon Egging, died at the Bournemouth Air Festival during a display.

An inquest into Jon's death heard it's likely he blacked out just before he crashed due to strong G-Forces. 

Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging Credit: ITV Meridian

Since his death, the Jon Egging Trust, set up in his name, has been helping young people who are struggling with school.

Jon's widow Emma said: "We've actually worked with 30,000 young people nationwide over the last ten years.

"This year is about looking back, but it's really more importantly, about looking forward and what we want to do in the ten years we've got ahead of us."

Up to a million people are expected to attend the four day event (2-5 September) which includes wing walkers, fast jets and aircraft from the Second World War.