2024 air show season in Europe – news and updates (part 1)

Spring is already here, and this is high time to begin with our annual series focused on news and updates regarding the current air show season in Europe. Traditionally, our selection of events is very subjective and mostly includes those we both liked and enjoyed in the past, or those we plan to visit this year, respectively.

It may not come as a surprise to you that 2024 aviation season already began, and the first events did take place. Traditional open doors day at Letiště Točná (Točná Airport) in Prague, the Czech Republic is one of such examples – a series of public days at Točná is organized on annual basis, from March to December, usually on every second Saturday of every month (within the mentioned airframe). Therefore, the initial open doors event was already held a few days ago, on 9th March.

During the aforementioned series of the regular public events, visitors to Letiště Točná have an opportunity to spend an interesting afternoon among iconic historical aircraft, see them up close and learn about their history. Aviation collection at Točna Airport includes AT-6C Harvard, Lockheed L-10A Electra, Sokol M1C, Zlín C-305, Zlín 326X F and Waco YKS-6, as well as replicas of Avia BH-1 and BH-5. In addition, those public events also offer an opportunity to see other Czech-based historical and vintage aeroplanes – thanks to their guest appearance during Točná open days.

More information about the aviation collection and open doors day at Točná Airport can be found in our reports from the event that opened the 2022 season, as well as one of the public days organized in September of 2021. The next open doors day at Letiště Točná is planned for 13th April, between 13:00 and 18:00 hours. As usual, there is no entrance fee there.

Similarly to previous years, the first regular air show in Central Europe in 2024 will be organised at Plasy airfield. Den ve vzduchu (Day in the air) is usually being held during the last weekend of April and this year is no exception from that rule. The biggest aviation event of the West Bohemia region will take place on 27th and 28th April, and the organizers already disclosed some information about the air show participants.

AT-6C Harvard, Točná open day 2021

This year, visitors to Plasy airfield will have chance to experience the Great War dogfight presented by airworthy replicas belonging to the Aviation Fair Squadron, as well as aerobatic displays performed by Extra 300SR (with Martin Šonka at its controls) and Bo 105 C helicopter from the Flying Bulls collection. The flying programme of Den ve vzduchu 2024 also includes some premiere appearances, such as the P-51D ´Little Rebel´ with its first display in Plasy and Fouga CM170 Magister with its debut performance in the Czech Republic. For our reports from previous editions of the event, please refer to the following links: Den ve vzduchu 2022 / Den ve vzduchu 2023.

May will be marked with one of the most popular French aviation events, La Ferté-Alais Meeting Aérien (La Ferté-Alais Air Show). The show will take place on 18th and 19th May at Cerny airfield in France and the 80th anniversary of the D-Day will be its leitmotiv for this year. Therefore, programme of the event promises a broad range of warbirds, such as C-47 Skytrain, Spitfire PR XIX and FR.XIVe, P-51D Mustang, Yak-3, Po-2 and many others.

On 17th May, the new aviation exhibition established near Pardubice, the Czech Republic, will for the first time ever open for public. The event called Letadla nad hradem (Aeroplanes over the castle) will take place at Kunětická hora airfield and its name refers to the picturesque medieval castle located nearby. During that show, airworthy replicas of iconic aeroplanes of the already mentioned Aviation Fair Squadron will be introduced to general public. More information about the collection and the idea that led to creation of the Squadron can be found in our earlier articles Aviation Fair got its wings / Blériot XI for the Aviation Fair Squadron.

This year´s edition of traditional children´s day and open day organized by Aeroklub Jaroměř will take place one week later, on 25th May. That local but interesting aviation event offers a day at the airfield packed with attractions for both adults and the little ones. Traditionally, the open day is concluded by short but exciting flying programme. For our reports from previous editions of the event, please refer to the following links: Jaroměř open day 2019 / Jaroměř open day 2023.

Hawker Sea Fury FB.11, Aviation Fair 2022

Aviatická pouť (Aviation Fair) in Pardubice will welcome its guests on 1st and 2nd June. It will be already the 31st edition of the biggest civilian air show in the Czech Republic and, as usual, the event promises a diverse programme of flying and ground displays. The organizers of Aviation Fair already disclosed a significant number of the air show participants that includes Martin Šonka with his aerobatic show, the Royal Jordanian Falcons, the Flying Bulls Aerobatic Team, Lockheed 12A Electra Junior, Pilatus PC-9, Ryan PT-22 and the group of aircraft from the Hangar 7 of the Flying Bulls.

More information about the Aviation Fair 2024 and its flying programme are being published on regular basis in our Air Show News section: A first glimpse of Aviation Fair 2024 / A surprising combination – Martin Šonka and Blériot XI.

Danish Air Show, the main aviation event in Denmark, will return this year after its usual one-year break. In 2024, the event will be organized at Flyvestation Aalborg (Aalborg air base), on 9th June. As usual, the organizers assure a broad range of domestic and foreign military aircraft on static and dynamic displays, as well as exhibition of different branches of the Danish Armed Forces. If you want to learn more about the show, please check our report from the 2014 edition, held at Karup air base.

The early June will also bring the biggest and most-awaited aviation week in Germany. Firstly, it will be marked by the NATO Tiger Meet that returns to Fliegerhorst Schleswig/Jagel (Schleswig/Jagel air base) after a ten-year gap. During the previous edition of the NTM there, the aviation enthusiasts had an opportunity to visit the base during two spotter days. The good news is that it is going to be the same this year – the spotter days at Jagel will be organized on 7th and 10th June, with limited number of 1,500 guests each day.

Biało-Czerwone Iskry, Danish Air Show 2014

Moreover, 8th of June is the date of this year´s edition of Tag der Bundeswehr, the annual open doors event of the German armed forces. The list of 2024 locations includes two air force bases – Fliegerhorst Holzdorf (Sachsen-Anhalt/Brandenburg) and Fliegerhorst Faßberg (Lower Saxony). In addition, another event for spotters is going to be held at Faßberg on 7th June, with regards to commemoration of Allied air bridge to Berlin. More information about the Bundeswehr open doors day can be found in one of our previous articles. For our reports from NTM 2014 in Jagel and previous editions of Tag der Bundeswehr, please refer to the following links: Helicopter day at Holzdorf – Tag der Bundeswehr 2018 / Visiting the Marinefliegerkommando – Tag der Bundeswehr 2019 in Nordholz  / ´Tigers´ over the North Sea – NATO Tiger Meet 2014.

Last but not least, we would like to mention some of the aviation trade shows that are planned for the first part of this year.

Traditionally, the 2024 season will be opened by Aero Friedrichshafen, the biggest European trade show focused on the General Aviation industry. This year the event will celebrate its 30th anniversary and will take place between 17th and 20th April.

In the last week of May, this year´s edition of annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) will take place in Geneve, Switzerland. The event is focused mainly on the business aviation and will be organized between 28th and 30th May.

June will be marked by the biggest German trade exhibition for aerospace and defence industries, the ILA Berlin. The event is planned for 5th to 9th June and, as usual, the show will include the flying displays and will be available for general public during the weekend.

Caudron G.III, Jaroměř open day 2023