2008 Maxims Casino Southend Airshow ready for take off on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th May

The 2008 Maxims Casino Southend Airshow is taking place on Sunday 25th and Bank Holiday Monday 26th May. Now in its 23rd year, the event is one of the largest free Airshows in Europe attracting more than half a million people to Southend over the two days. Sponsored by the Maxims Casino Southend in Western Esplanade, Southend, and organised by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, this year’s show will feature the best in military and civilian aviation as well as a packed programme of ground entertainment. Councillor John Lamb, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism & Regeneration says: “The 2008 Maxims Casino Southend Airshow looks set to be better than ever. This official launch marks the start of the publicity build up to the event, although work has been going on behind the scenes for months to plan the show.”

He adds: “This Airshow is the jewel in the crown of our busy Southend events programme. We hope that by encouraging as many people as possible to come to Southend for the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, they will return to the town again during the course of the year to see the rest of what our wonderful town has to offer.”

John Harland, Public Relations Manager at the Maxims Casino Southend, says: “The Airshow is a massive community event and one that we are proud to be involved with.  We are delighted to once again be supporting such a prestigious event that has such a benefit to Southend.”

Airshow displays will be flying high!
Southend’s biggest event is ready to take to the skies, promising more thrills, spills and action than ever before!

Held over the Spring Bank Holiday 25th & 26th May, the spectacular 2008 Maxims Casino Southend Airshow will tempt thousands of people to the seafront to see the high flying action!

The aircraft participation for the Southend Airshow 2008 is already looking exciting as the Royal Air Force has come out in strength to support the event. All of the available RAF displays have been confirmed, including the Typhoon and the Red Arrows. In fact it will be the first chance to see the Red Arrows new display before they go on a month long tour to Canada and the US.

As well as the modern military, Southend will celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the RAF with displays from historical aircraft covering the whole history of the service.

Display Director Dave Walton says: "Southend is the first major show of the RAF’s anniversary year and we are delighted that so many display aircraft have been allocated to the event. We hope to demonstrate the aviation highlights of the last 90 years alongside the Royal Navy and other crowd favourites such as the Team Guinot Wingwalkers and The Blades."

The flying programme for the two day show will be constantly updated in the run up to the event.

Lots to do – thanks to Airshow ground crew!
There will be more than just spectacular aerial stunts at the 2008 Maxims Casino Southend Airshow. Those coming along to enjoy Southend’s premier event, on Sunday 25h and Bank Holiday Monday 26h May 2008, can expect plenty of lively attractions.

Southend’s famous seafront will be packed with activities, market areas, big brand name exhibitors such as Honda, Hyundai, Waitrose and EA Games, military town shows and lots of opportunities to mingle with the pilots taking part in one of Europe’s largest free airshows.

Councillor John Lamb, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Regeneration says: “This year promises to be the best ever! We’re showcasing exciting aerial teams and the seafront will be buzzing with activity, so come along!”

Landing again is the ‘Meet the Pilots’ area. This crowd-pleaser is expected to be one of the show’s biggest draws, where people of all ages have the chance to meet up with the stars of the show, take some photos and get some autographs! On the Monday, the world famous Red Arrows pilots will be on the ground too, the opportunity to get their autographs is one not to be missed!

The Army and RAF will be there, demonstrating their weaponry and equipment, and the Royal Marines will take on any challengers up the climbing wall.

Hungry plane enthusiasts can choose from plenty of popular market and food stalls serving up a variety of snacks and drinks.

BBC Essex is broadcasting special programmes live from the seafront and there will be exclusive coverage of the entire flying display. Radio Airshow is broadcast at the event, on 1530mw from 12 noon on both days. Essex FM will be bringing some great entertainment over both days of the Airshow with roadshows, competitions and giveaways.

The facts behind the fun!
The 2008 Maxims Casino Southend Airshow is one of the largest free airshows in Europe.

Staged by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council it takes place over the Spring Bank Holiday – Sunday 25thth and Bank Holiday Monday 26th May. The two-day event attracts approximately three-quarters of a million visitors to Southend, generates more than £10 million into the local economy every year and sustains 60 jobs in Southend. Since the show began it has attracted more than 10 million visitors to Southend.

Recently the Council undertook a cost benefit analysis and commissioned an economic impact study from the East of England Tourist Board to evaluate the costs and benefits of hosting such a large event.

The findings concluded that the event raises the profile of Southend, helping to change negative perceptions of the town and showcasing the many attractions it has to offer. This in turn creates repeat visitors, who return to Southend to enjoy more of the town’s many attractions.

Corporate co-operation is pinpointed as a key strength of the survey, with local companies working together to make the most of the promotional opportunities. Tourist businesses are well supported – bed spaces are filled, and attractions such as the Pier receive a boost in visitor numbers. Local charities take advantage of the crowds to raise money.

Strong professional bonds between the emergency services and the military are forged, and recruitment stands present career opportunities to the public. Many of the stalls have an educational element.

The 2008 Maxims Casino Southend Airshow promotes social inclusion – there is no admission fee, allowing low-income families to enjoy the event without financial pressures.

Airshow Benefits

  • The Economic Impact Survey (PRIME model – the industry recognised standard) was commissioned by the Council in 2005
  • Brings in up to 750,000 visitors to the town
  • Generates new visitors, which then turn into repeat visitors
  • Showcases Southend in the media spotlight generating more than £175,000 of free coverage across radio, television, local and regional newspapers and national magazines
  • Raises the profile of Southend and helps change negative perceptions
  • Excellent example of corporate working
  • Supports local tourism businesses
  • Fills bed spaces in Southend
  • Forges relationships with local emergency services and military services
  • Educational opportunities – ground military recruitment stands
  • Social inclusion – low income families (free entry)
  • Local businesses – promotional opportunities
  • Supporting local charities – promotional and collection opportunities
  • Total gross income £10, 441,428 (£7,639,306 local and £2,802,122 regional)
  • Total full time equivalent jobs – 67.40 (local) and 7.15 (regional)

The Southend Airshow is seen as a benchmark for setting the standard of other seafront airshows that take place all over the country. Organisers regularly share information and in Southend we use ideas and knowledge from other shows to improve our display and come up with new ideas to generate income. Equally other shows look to Southend as an example of good practice.

Airshow Facts

  • The event requires 80 First Aiders, three doctors, five nurses plus 80 stewards and traffic marshals
  • There is eight hours of flying over two days
  • More than 30 mobile caterers and ice-cream vans refresh the crowds
  • There are three military town shows, more than 20 exhibitors plus a market and craft fayre - the ground attractions cover more than a mile of the seafront
  • Last year, 21 tons of rubbish was removed from the site after the show!

The Blades: The Sky is Not the Limit
The UK’s sexiest formation display team and the world’s only globally accredited aerobatic airline; The Blades, are preparing of take Southend by storm!  The Team will be debuting their brand new 2008 display at the Westcliff Casino Southend Airshow on the 25th and 26th May.

The Blades, who consist of 4 of the country’s most accomplished aerobatic pilots, have all served as front-line fast jet pilots and Red Arrows in the Royal Air Force.  With a combined total of more than 15,000 hours they have flown in the most challenging of single seat aircraft.  It is with this wealth of experience that The Blades continue to impress celebrities, aviators and the public alike.

Last year was incredible for the Team with the detachment out to the Middle East in early 2007 for the Formula One Grand Prix setting the tone for the year to come.  Back in the UK, The Blades continued at full power displaying at the F1 GP at Silverstone, P1 Powerboat racing, Skandia Cowes Week, the launch for the UK leg of the World SuperBikes and at all the major Airshows in the UK.  In total The Blades displayed in-front of a live audience of over 5.5 million people.  The team were also overwhelmed by media interest and flew over 50 journalists and presenters from across the country, they even took centre stage, early this year, as part of a major storyline on ITV’s Flagship soap, Emmerdale- Watch out Hollywood!!

The Blades fly the outstanding, high performance 2-seat Extra 300 LPs, turning harder and tighter than anyone else, making their award winning 12 minute display a breathtaking collection of opposition passes, gyroscopic tumbles and close formation manoeuvres that have never been seen before.

“We are all really excited about displaying at Southend this year, especially as it was where we debuted our first ever show in 2006”  said Team Leader Andy Offer, “the weather last year was not ideal, but we are all doing a sun dance to make sure the weather is perfect for the show”.


Source: Maxims Casino Southend Airshow
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