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A banner for the Singapore Airshow (Photo: aamanatullah – Singapore Air Show Banner, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66394246)

Big Names Drop Singapore Airshow Over Coronavirus Fears

Although aviation presence has already been hurt by the coronavirus outbreak in Asia, the trend has continued and has now trickled into the Singapore Airshow. Four major aircraft manufacturers have announced they will not appear in the show out of fear of the outbreak or were denied access by the event’s hosts.

Denied access were all Chinese brands, where the virus originated and has the largest presence at the time of writing. The biggest name to be barred entry from the event is the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, who had hoped to use the Singapore Airshow to continue to promote its two aircraft, the C919 and ARJ21. Alongside COMAC, nine other Chinese brands were denied entry from Singapore for the event.

With the issue of the coronavirus fearing those in the west, it was inevitable that some brands would issue cautions and avoid Asian travel when necessary, including the Singapore Airshow. Three North American aerospace firms have all agreed to avoid the airshow as a result of the virus.

First and most notable is the disappearance of Textron Aviation, which operates branches that include Hawker, Beechcraft, Bell Helicopter and Cessna. According to the Singapore Airshow website, Textron had planned to have four static displays at the event, consisting of the Beechcraft King Air 350I, Cessna Grand Caravan, Cessna Citation Latitude and Cessna Citation CJ3+.

Alongside Textron, General Dynamics announced that Gulfstream would dodge the Singapore Airshow for the same reason. They were bringing a similarly sized fleet to the airshow, including the Gulfstream G280, G500, G600 and G650ER.

Finally, Canadian planemaker Bombardier announced its withdrawal from the event. The Singapore Airshow says that the Bombardier Global 7500 was to be in attendance as a static display but the aircraft will not depart for Singapore. The former Bombardier product the Dash 8-Q400 will be in appearance but with new owner De Havilland Aircraft.

The Singapore Airshow is one of the largest airshows each year and tends to draw in big names as local airlines ink deals with manufacturers during the event for publicity. The airshow is branded as the largest in Asia, with 54,151 trade attendees attending displays from 1,062 companies across the globe. The next Singapore Airshow is scheduled for February 15-16, 2020 at the Changi Exhibition Centre.

Despite the drop in aerospace attendees, the event is still scheduled to go on and other large brands such as Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Dassault still plan on attending the event and having static displays to model some of their new aircraft models.

Ian McMurtry
Ian McMurtry
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