Press release
9 March 2021

Yealands Classic Fighters 2021 will now take place over the first weekend of September, from the 3rd to 5th, coinciding with Father’s Day.

Blenheim, NZ: Due to the uncertainties around Covid-19 at this time, the decision has been reached to postpone the Omaka Easter airshow.

Yealands Classic Fighters 2021 will now take place over the first weekend of September, from the 3rd to 5th, coinciding with Father’s Day.

Classic Fighters Airshow Director Graham Orphan said, "This is the first time we have ever altered the dates of the show and it is not something we do lightly, but this time the writing was on the wall. We have accepted that it would be irresponsible to risk both the ongoing viability of Classic Fighters and the health of our community.”  

All tickets remain valid and automatically roll on to the new date. If ticket holders plan to attend the new date, there is nothing they need to do. However, a full refund is available should that be their choice. An email will be sent to all ticket holders to explain the options. 

Michael Wentworth of naming rights sponsor Yealands Wines, commented saying “we understand the challenges of operating in this uncertain environment and Yealands Wines fully supports the difficult decision the air show organisers have taken”.

The event brings an eight-figure dividend to the province every two years, so it needs to be supported and protected. "Were we to continue now in this environment, we risk seeing our expenses outstripping our ability to meet our obligations to our customer base" Orphan said.

The decision to not cancel but instead to move the 2021 event to September, means that all the elements of the planned airshow can still go ahead. The warbirds, aerobatics, the full-size V2 rocket and flying V1 'doodlebug’, the pioneer race, art-deco display and all the theatrics which teams of volunteers have been working on for the past year, will be retained for the September event. 

Contractors who supply goods and services to Yealands Classic Fighters are supportive of the date change as opposed to a cancellation. Jay Ritchie from Dakins Group said “Great news! I think then would be a total success!” Shane Brazier from Camelspace who supply the Gold Pass grandstand said, “Father’s Day would be perfect”.

Organisers are hoping for the same reaction from ticket holders. “In six months time the vaccination roll-out should be well advanced, so we are looking forward to a Covid-free, brilliant Yealands Classic Fighters this September”.

Image: The Omaka-based Mk.14 Spitfire - Photo by Gavin Conroy / Classic Aircraft Photography. 

About Yealands Classic Fighters Omaka: The airshow is the main fundraising event for the Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum, located in Blenheim, Marlborough NZ. 2021 will be Classic Fighters Omaka’s 20th anniversary.
The show is has been postponed until September 03-05 2021 and tickets are available at or at the gate.

Phone +64 (3) 579 1305  
Postal Address PO Box 641, Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand  
Physical Address 79 Aerodrome Road, Omaka, Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand