THE Red Arrows will miss next year's Clacton Airshow as they tour North America.

More than 250,000 spectators descended on the resort for the town's two-day display this summer.

But it is understood the ever-popular aerial display team will not be appearing at next year's show, which will take place on Thursday, August 22, and Friday, August 23.

It will be the first time the Red Arrows have not appeared at the show since 2011, after the fleet's Hawk T1 jets were grounded following the death of one of its pilots in Bournemouth.

The RAF team will instead be holding nine-week tour of North America that is aimed at generating £2.5billion in investment for Britain.

Mick Skeels, Tendring Council's cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said even if the Red Arrows were not at next year’s Clacton Airshow, it would still be a spectacular event.

“At this stage we have only just started putting bids in for flights for next year’s show, so we would not be able to confirm the Red Arrows’ attendance yet at any rate,” he said.

“It does look highly unlikely they will be attending next year’s show, and of course this is disappointing in some respects as we know they are a popular flight with spectators.

“The Red Arrows are however just one part of the Clacton Airshow, which is always packed full of exciting displays to thrill the crowds – not least our growing twilight flights which are becoming more and more popular each year.

“The money that would be spent bringing the Red Arrows can be spent on other wonderful flight displays and I am certain we will still have an amazing event.”

The North American outing will be first major tour of the US and Canada in more than 25 years.

Pilots and other Red Arrows officials will also meet business leaders, visit schools and attend other engagements during the tour, which follows the RAF's 2018 centenary celebrations.

The tour will promote the Government's 'Great' campaign, which was launched to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and raise the profile of British culture and business abroad.

Air Vice Marshal Warren James, the senior RAF officer responsible for the Red Arrows, added: "The deployment of the Red Arrows will demonstrate the global reach and capability of the RAF and our continuing support of the United Kingdom's defence and commerce industries.

"Together with the Great Britain campaign, Western Hawk 19 will showcase our excellence, professionalism and proud heritage in education, engineering, technology and finance to our allies."

The tour will take place in August and September next year.