Sunderland International Airshow is flying high after winning an Enjoy England Award for Excellence, a national award affectionately dubbed the ‘tourism Oscar’.

The event organisers from Sunderland City Council were there to collect the prestigious award in Liverpool last night, where they fought off strong competition from other nationwide events, including Christmas at Castle Howard in Yorkshire, and Ludlow Food Festival in Shropshire.

This is the 19th year of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, which recognise and celebrate outstanding tourism attractions across the country.

Chris Alexander, Head of Culture and Tourism said: “This award is a fantastic achievement, and true recognition of a spectacular event. Sunderland International Airshow is tremendously popular to the region, and it is testimony to the hard work of all who contribute to its success that it should achieve this acknowledgement on a national level.”

Sunderland International Airshow is the largest free airshow in Europe and one of the largest events in the North East. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the seafront at Seaburn each year to watch thrilling displays by jet fighters, vintage aircraft, helicopters and aerobatic teams, including the world famous Red Arrows.

On the ground, there’s also plenty to see and do with displays and entertainment along Sunderland’s coastline and an impressive arena programme.

Sue Henderson, Deputy Director of the Sunderland International Airshow said: “Sunderland International Airshow is a true highlight in the city’s events calendar, and one which millions of people enjoy every year. We are very pleased to accept this award, and hope that Sunderland International Airshow can continue to delight crowds in years to come.”

Sunderland City Council would like to announce that this year’s Sunderland International Airshow will take place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July.