After cancellation of air shows – “Rich Switzerland can’t even afford an air show” – News


The Swiss army is canceling a whole series of major events due to a lack of money, including the “Air Spirit 24” air show. This would have been planned at the end of August at the airfield in Emmen in the canton of Lucerne. But now there are doubts about how much the military will save on the bottom line by canceling this show.

The information we have is that the cause is self-sustaining.

For the mayor of Emmen, Ramona Gut-Rogger, the cancellation of the air show is incomprehensible, especially since the preparatory work would certainly have incurred costs: “The information we have is that the event is self-supporting. That this is financed through income from parking lot management and admissions. Sponsoring was also an issue,” says Gut-Rogger.

The Patrouille Suisse fan club has also already prepared for the event – after all, they wanted to celebrate the 60th anniversary this year. The fan club’s media spokesman, Roland Studer, is astonished by the cancellation and its justification. “We know that our meetings are costly. With viewers who pay and many sponsors who have been found, it would be zero sum – even more likely to be a profit,” says Studer. He doubts the VBS’s justification.

The entire cost of the air show is in the low six-figure range.

Studer, who works in the military at Emmen airfield, also sees the cancellation as a bad sign for the population: “We want to be there for the Swiss people, we want the Swiss people to accept the air force and army. And we notice that even people who are not necessarily friends of the Air Force come to such events,” Studer continued.

VBS will deliver figures at the end of the week

How much does the VBS save if it cancels several air shows? Upon request, the department will only be able to provide these and other figures towards the end of the week and refers to the army chief’s statement from last week. At that time, Thomas Süssli said: “Firstly, operating expenses have increased, which no longer enables us to hold these events. The second is the liquidity situation of the army and thirdly: We now need this energy to concentrate on defense.”

The arguments do not make sense to aviation expert and editor-in-chief of, Hansjörg Bürgi. The fact that you want to save money like this is especially not the case: “That doesn’t make any sense at all because you’ve already been working on this event for a year and a half and making contracts. So either way there are costs involved.” According to his knowledge, the cost of the air show is in the low six-figure range. So not that much would be saved, he says.


The Patrouille Suisse goes into formation over the Axalp. (Image from 10/18/23)

KEYSTONE/Anthony Anex

In addition, the F35 fighter jet that the Air Force is purchasing would have been presented at Air Spirit 24, adds expert Bürgi. Taxpayers have the right to see this. In addition, foreign aerobatic teams would have to be unloaded again. “Embarrassing,” says the editor-in-chief of “Rich Switzerland, which is procuring new F35 aircraft, can’t even afford an air show. That’s the tenor.”

It is also tradition to congratulate each other on anniversaries such as 110 years of the Air Force or 60 years of Patrouille Suisse: foreign teams come to Switzerland, the Swiss go abroad. “You shake your head,” says Bürgi.

The fan club is considering starting a petition to convince the VBS to hold the air show.

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