Festival Of Flight Attracts Crowds To Newcastle


RAF Red Arrows dazzle Newcastle crowds once again as thousands enjoy Collins Aerospace Festival of Flight

The world-famous RAF Red Arrows were the star of the show as over 100,000 spectators turned out in glorious sunshine to enjoy a packed programme of thrilling aerobatics at Newcastle’s Festival of Flight.

The exclusive display from the RAF Red Arrows – their only date on the island of Ireland this year – coloured the skies with trails of smoke over the South Down coastline as they performed their famous acrobatics, flying formations, rolls and climbs.

The Red Arrows pictured during one of their spectacular manouevres.

The Festival of Flight, sponsored by Collins Aerospace with additional support from Tourism NI, is one of the largest free airshows on the island of Ireland and featured an array of world-famous aviation attractions and family entertainment.

Alongside the iconic RAF Red Arrows, the stellar line-up included world-class aerobatic displays from the Muscle Pitts Biplane, Team Raven, The Global Stars and The Blades. 

Counillor Charlie Casey, Chairman of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, centre, with Air Marshal Sean Reynolds, Acting Oficer for thr RAF NI, and Brigadier Rory O’Connor, General Officer Cammanding, Irish Air Corps.

The daredevil AeroSuperBatics Wing Walkers thrilled spectators as they performed their breath-taking aerial gymnastics.

The RAF BBMF Douglas Dakota and The RAF Tucano T1 (famously made by Shorts in Belfast) gave a vintage showcase of low-level fly-bys as they commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The Irish Coast Guard demonstrated its search and rescue capabilities over the Irish Sea, with the Irish AirCorps AW139 Helicopter and CASA Maritime aircraft teams performing a variety of aerial movements and dramatic flypasts.  

Collins Aerospace (Kilkeel) Acting Managing Director Stuart McKee was delighted that the Festival of Flight has come together so well once again.

On the ground, a spectacular array of ground-based activities and events provided first class visitor entertainment for the entire family including; a Food and Entertainment Village, live music, children’s arts and craft workshops, face-painting and balloon modelling. 

Speaking about the success of the event, Chairperson of Newry Mourne & Down District Council, Councillor Charlie Casey said: “This year’s Festival of Flight has been a tremendous success with over 100,000 visitors making the trip to Newcastle for the Festival’s strongest line-up for years, that included the RAF Red Arrows’ only visit to island of Ireland in 2019.

“Festival of Flight is the showpiece in the Newry Mourne & Down District Council’s Giants Adventure Events programme, and today’s success has allowed us to kick off the summer season in spectacular fashion.”

Festival of Flight is the second of three Giant Adventures events for the 2019 visitor season. For more details on our Giant Adventures and other 2019 events, please visit: www.visitmournemountains.co.uk/GiantAdventure

Crowds lined every square inch of the promenade in Newcastle waiting to see the air show sponsored by Collins Aerospace.

Collins Aerospace Acting Managing Director Stuart McKee said: We are delighted that once again the excellent work of the officers of Newry Mourne and Down District Council and other agencies including Tourism NI that come together to make this event such a success.


“Our business is directed towards a global sectors and towards the aerospace industry. We draw a lot on the Kilkeel and wider area for our workforce and they are an important part of our company success.”

The AeroSuperBatics Wing Walkers in action over the skies on the shore of Newcastle.

Marie Ward, Director of Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism of Newry Mourne and Down District, added: “We have increased our tourism spend in the area by 87% in the past three years which is a huge achievement. We are fast becoming the top tourist destination in the whole island of Ireland.

“The Festival of Flight is one of our largest events and and we thank Collins Aerospace for their kind sponsorship and also the RAF and Irish Air Corps for their contribution too which all makes it a success. We were very lucky to have the Red Arrows here again this year.

“The reason we moved the Festival of Flight forward this year was so that we could include the Red Arrows as they are heading over to America for the summer. I hope everyone had an enjoyable day in Newcastle.”

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