The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed another aviation gathering. Less than a week after four major rotorcraft OEMs and other major industry players decided not to attend, the Helicopter Association International (HAI) made the “difficult decision” to cancel Heli-Expo 2021, which was slated for March 22 to 25 in New Orleans.
In a prepared statement issued Wednesday night, HAI said, “While some in our industry have urged us to carry on with the show, the majority have recently expressed discomfort with the logistics involved in business travel at this time. HAI appreciates hearing from our diverse VTOL community, and we are grateful for the honest feedback that we've received from our members, exhibitors, attendees, and other stakeholders.”
HAI said registered attendees would receive full refunds for the show and any related professional courses; hotel reservations made through the organization’s housing vendor would be canceled; and exhibitors could either receive refunds, apply the amount to next year’s show in Dallas, or use it to support other HAI advertising and sponsorship opportunities. Association president James Viola apologized for the cancellation. “Like many others during this past year, we have had to adjust course in response to changing conditions,” he said.
HAI’s decision comes following London-based HeliOffshore’s move to cancel its in-person annual conference in April in Lisbon. That conference will now be held virtually from May 11 to 12.