This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
As the global outbreak of Covid-19 deepens, NBAA and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) canceled their hallmark European event and the second-largest business aviation show globally, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition 2020 (EBACE2020), the organizations announced on Sunday.
The event was to have been held in Geneva from May 26 to 28, but Europe is facing numerous Covid-19-related travel and other restrictions. In fact, the move came one day before the European Union announced on Monday plans to introduce a 30-day ban on non-essential travel for most non-EU citizens in its 27 member states. Exceptions include long-term residents of EU and citizens of Iceland, Liechenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
Additionally, Switzerland has banned all events of more than 100 people in place through the end of April. This was an extension and an expansion of the initial ban of events with more than 1,000 people that was to have gone through mid-March. The Swiss authorities further are indicating plans to reintroduce Schengen border checks.
While such restrictions right now are still not into May, the long lead times required for an event the scale of EBACE2020 necessitate an earlier decision, organizers have explained. Further, they have agreed to refund exhibit and registration fees in full.
“This is the hardest decision EBAA’s management and board of governors have had to make in years,” said EBAA secretary-general Athar Husain Khan. “But given the unprecedented circumstances, we had no other choice. We must do everything we can to help protect against exposure to Covid-19, and mitigate any risks associated with the spread of the virus.”
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen added, “We view our participants as partners, whose health and well-being is our foremost concern, and that priority is front-and-center in our decision to cancel EBACE2020.”
The decision is the latest in a spate of large-event cancelations ongoing globally and follows NBAA’s decision last week to shorten its Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (S&D) by a day and cancel its upcoming 2020 International Operators Conference (IOC2020) and Business Aircraft Finance, Registration, & Legal Conference.
In addition, the Aircraft Electronics Association opted to postpone its International Convention & Trade Show that was scheduled for March 24 to 27 in Nashville, as did organizers of Aero Friedrichshafen and Sun n’ Fun Aerospace Expo.
Ross Bellingham (not verified)
March 16, 2020 - 5:28pm
I , with my colleagues fully understand the reason for cancelling EBACE this year due to COVID-19 and the restricted air travel. What infuriates me is that my hotel in Geneva refuses to refund, or credit me for future use, the hotel room I had booked. Though expensive, my issue is not money related but rather those that take advantage of a worldwide tragic situation. Pathetic.