With continuing reports of the global spread of Wuhan coronavirus, three major business aircraft OEMs have confirmed to AIN that they won’t be exhibiting at the upcoming Singapore Airshow. Over the weekend, Cessna and Beechcraft airframer Textron Aviation announced it was pulling out of the show, followed by Gulfstream Aerospace yesterday, and Bombardier today.
The three airframers cited the well-being of their employees and customers as the reason behind their decision. “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will go on as planned from February 11-16 even though 10 exhibitors from China and five from three other countries have withdrawn from exhibiting. Some others canceling their participation include CAE from Canada, Stemme from Germany, and Ampaire and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (Comac). 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. “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, UAS International Trip Support today is advising business aviation operators against traveling to China, noting that more coronavirus cases have been reported there as well as 25 other countries including Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada, France, and Germany. “While a general travel ban has not been issued, we advise postponing travel to China as rapid changes in administrative safety measures are imposed,” UAS said. “Hotels are suddenly closing and/or no longer accepting guests for health safety concerns. In addition, regular long-haul shuttle bus services from the capital Beijing and Shanghai city have been suspended indefinitely.”
It noted that travelers entering the country and exhibiting a high temperature could be subject to questioning by local authorities, registration for follow-up monitoring, and possible quarantine and testing. For those who must travel to China, it recommends they bring their own protection mask, hand sanitizer, and disinfection tissues—items that are sold out in China. It also recommends avoiding public areas there.