It appears global coronavirus fears trumps sales for aircraft manufacturers, as four major business OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) have confirmed to AINonline that they will not take part in the upcoming Singapore Airshow.
According to the website, Cessna and Beechcraft airframer Textron Aviation announced it was pulling out of the show, followed by Gulfstream Aerospace and Bombardier.
The three airframers cited the well-being of their employees and customers as the reason behind their decision, the report said.
“In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, we are taking extra precautions by limiting international travel and have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the upcoming Singapore Airshow,” Gulfstream said in a statement. “We look forward to returning to the show for its next iteration in 2022.”
In a separate statement, Singapore Airshow organizers said the show will go on as planned from February 11-16 even though 10 exhibitors from China and five from three other countries have withdrawn from exhibiting, the report said.
Some others canceling their participation include CAE from Canada, Stemme from Germany, and Ampaire and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC), the report said.
The airshow organizer will enhance its cleaning and trash disposal procedures, have hand sanitizers available, and position a team of doctors and medics on-site to assist attendees, the report said.
“In the coming week, we are focused on delivering the show while ensuring the overall safety of our attendees,” said Leck Chet Lam, managing director of Experia Events, the show’s organizer. “During this period, we will continue to work with the relevant authorities and do our utmost to offer support to our exhibitors, partners, and visitors who require assistance.”
Meanwhile, an aerobatics team from China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) will perform at this year’s Singapore Airshow after careful consideration by the Singapore authorities, airshow organizer Experia Events told CNA online.
“The Chinese personnel’s participation was surfaced to the relevant government authorities, and upon careful consideration and medical assessment, it was decided that they could continue to participate at Singapore Airshow 2020,” a spokesperson said.
The defense ministry said it would send nine aircraft and more than 100 personnel.