China airshow 'will be held' in November, say backtracking organisers

By: AFP      Published: 07:03 PM, 9 Sep, 2020
China airshow 'will be held' in November, say backtracking organisers

China's biennial airshow will be held as scheduled in November, organisers insisted late Wednesday, backtracking on an earlier statement that said the coronavirus had laid low the big-ticket aviation event.

The show, scheduled to take place in the southern coastal city of Zhuhai from November 10, is set to feature major companies such as Boeing.

"As of now, the 13th China Zhuhai Airshow will still be held as scheduled," a media spokesman for the event said in an email to reporters, adding an earlier statement that it would be scrapped due the epidemic was "purely my own prediction".

China remains closed to most international travellers due to tight restrictions to stop a resurgence of the coronavirus, which first surfaced in the central city of Wuhan before spreading across the globe.

The event takes place every two years and is China's main aerospace industry exhibition, with products, trade talks and flying displays.

It has been a platform for Beijing to show off military equipment and technology such as stealth drones, as well as to unveil a replica of China's first permanently crewed space station.

While Asia's biggest air show in Singapore went ahead in February -- with measures in place to guard against the deadly coronavirus -- over 70 exhibitors including industry giant Lockheed Martin chose to skip the show.

This year global air travel has been decimated as countries close borders and tourists stay home.

Qatar Airways said in June it will not take any new aircraft in 2020 or 2021, deferring orders with Boeing and Airbus as demand diminishes.

The virus has also led to the cancellation or postponement of many major events -- including the Olympic Games in Japan.