The display team had been booked in for this year’s display, in September, but confirmed late yesterday that it would not be taking part.
The announcement was posted on parent companies 2Excel Aviation’s website and said that 2022 would be its final full season and that it was ‘seeking to honour all existing bookings’.
Guernsey Air Display organisers said they were very disappointed to hear that Blades would be closing, but were not aware of the cancellation.
Event organiser Natalie Davidson said there was a long relationship with The Blades going back to when the aerobatic display team was formed over 15 years ago.
‘They have been a key part of the air display,’ she said.
‘We hope to speak to them in the coming days to clarify exactly what this means for 2023.’
As well as performing displays, the company, many of whose pilots were ex-Red Arrows, allowed paying members of the public the experience of joining them in the cockpit as the planes performed formation aerobatics.
Andy Offer, 2Excel’s co-founder and director, and one of the original Blades pilots, said that challenges to global economies and the worsening cost-of-living crisis had exacerbated the challenges facing The Blades.
‘This comes amid the continued degradation of the air show circuit, with more and more events being lost, meaning fewer opportunities to display and showcase our sponsors to the public,’ he said.
‘During the 17 flying seasons the Blades delivered, millions of people saw the team display and thousands have ridden onboard our aircraft.
‘We owe a great debt of gratitude to every one of them. But, most importantly, we must pay tribute to the pilots who have flown with the team and to the ground staff who supported them over the years.’