Event organizer

China’s largest airshow to go ahead as originally planned – event organizer

BEIJING (Reuters) – The China International Aviation and Aerospace Show, the country’s largest airshow, will take place in November, the organizer said on Wednesday, reversing an earlier announcement that the event of 2020 had been canceled due to COVID-19.

FILE PHOTO: People take photos of Chinese People’s Liberation Air Force (PLAAF) Bayi aerobatic team planes during a test flight ahead of the China International Expo China Aviation and Aerospace, or Zhuhai Air Show in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China November 3, 2018. Picture taken November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

“From now on, the 13th Zhuhai Airshow in China will still be held as scheduled. If there are any changes, please refer to the official information and website,” a spokesperson said in a second statement.

An email from the spokesperson earlier Wednesday said the air show, scheduled for November, had been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the next one will be in 2022. He later said that statement was based on his own “prediction”. .

The biannual event typically attracts key suppliers – such as Airbus SE AIR.PABoeing Co. TO FORBID and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) – and has traditionally been used by Beijing to show off its growing aeronautical capabilities, such as military fighters and drones.

The announcements come as foreign nationals are largely banned from entering China due to concerns over imported coronavirus cases and severe restrictions on international flights.

This year’s biggest aerospace exhibition, Britain’s Farnborough Airshow, has been canceled due to travel restrictions and an industry downturn resulting from the pandemic.

Zhuhai Airshow organizers declined to comment further on the reasons for the decision change when contacted by Reuters.

China’s domestic aviation industry has recovered and is now operating at more than 90% of pre-pandemic capacity levels, according to data firm OAG, but that has yet to translate into a return to profitability. for Chinese airlines.

As the global industry reels from the devastating impact of the pandemic, many Western aerospace companies have slashed their budgets and some do not plan to attend the Zhuhai Airshow if it takes place, told Reuters. Reuters of company sources.

Progress on some key civilian aircraft programs, including COMAC’s C919 narrow-body and CR929 wide-body jets, jointly developed with Russia, has also been slow amid growing geopolitical tensions.

Reporting by Stella Qiu in Beijing and Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Emelia Sithole-Matarise