AMDA Foundation, organisers of the Australian International Airshow, today conceded that there was no chance it could go ahead under the current COVID restrictions and canceled the event.
Avalon 2021 was scheduled for early December, having already been postponed from its original March date due to the pandemic.
Rather than reschedule the event for 2022, AMDA has canceled it completely, meaning the aviation industry won't be back at Avalon until 2023.
"Considering increased uncertainty created by the impacts of the Delta variant of COVID-19, AMDA Foundation Limited confirms the cancellation of Avalon 2021," AMDA CEO Ian Honnery said.
"The pandemic has already required the Avalon organising team to work through many past challenges in respect of the 2021 event, including postponement from its original planned dates.
"However, recent developments as a consequence of the COVID-19 Delta strain have highlighted that the environment has become more unpredictable.
"Delivering such a highly complex, hallmark event in these challenging circumstances would involve risks of uncertainty for attendees, participants, industry and the Australian public.
"Therefore, in order to minimise uncertainty and disruption to attendees and participants, the difficult decision has been taken now that Avalon 2021 will not go ahead."
Honnery said it was "deeply disappointing" for all Avalon stakeholders that the event had to be canceled, but that public health had to take priority.
Avalon 2021 was also to have been a keystone event in the centenary year of the Royal Australian Air Force, which has now been deprived of a major showcase.
Whilst disappointed, Honnery said the organising team had already turned their sights to the 2023 dates.
"While Avalon cannot proceed in 2021, AMDA Foundation is now embarking on planning and preparation for Avalon 2023 which will be held from 28 February to 5 March 2023.
"With the expected transition to post-COVID normalcy, Avalon 2023 will return to international prominence as one of the world’s great air shows.
"Showcasing the colour, spectacle and excitement of aviation, and the industrial and technological potential of aerospace, defence and space as national strategic capabilities, Avalon 2023 will again take Australia to the world by bringing the world to Australia.
"Neither the sky, nor space, will be the limit at Avalon 2023!"
With Avalon now struck off, only the Brisbane International Airshow and Wings over Illawarra remain on the 2021 air show calendar, but both events will be under pressure from the same COVID restrictions that caused Avalon to be canceled.