Singapore airshow hurt by coronavirus withdrawals


Aerospace companies including business jet manufacturers Textron and General Dynamics Gulfstream division no longer planned to attend the Singapore Airshow due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The trade portion of Asia’s biggest airshow, held every two years, is set to begin on February 11 under the shadow of the virus that prompted Singapore to deny entry to non-residents with a recent history of travel to China, where the virus originated.

The death toll from the coronavirus is 361 in China and the number of confirmed infections is 17 205. The flu-like virus, which can be transmitted from person to person, spread to more than 24 other nations and regions.

Experia Events, organiser of the Singapore Airshow, said the show would continue as planned, but government measures meant it would “undoubtedly see a reduction in terms of expected exhibitors and visitors”.

There will be doctors and medics on standby to attend visitors feeling unwell.

In 2018, there were 54 000 trade attendees from 147 countries and 1 062 participating companies who come to network, examine products and sign deals covering commercial aviation, defence, maintenance and repair operations and business jets.

It is not a major show for commercial aircraft orders but talks can set the stage for deals.

Boeing), Airbus and Lockheed Martin Corp), among the big exhibitors, they still planned to attend.

Textron and Gulfstream said the decision to not attend was precautionary to protect the health of employees.

Russian aerospace group Rostec plans to send a reduced delegation, Russian media reported. Rostec did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

A spokesman for South Korea’s Air Force said it was reviewing participation in the Singapore Airshow, but had not made a final decision.

The deputy administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Li Jian, is no longer listed as a speaker at a pre-show leadership conference on February 10.

Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), developing the C919 narrow body jet, was due to attend before the travel ban was announced.