The Farnborough Airshow – this year’s biggest aerospace expo and a showcase for tens of billions of dollars of business deals – has become the newest significant occasion to be called off due to the coronavirus crisis, organizers stated Friday.
Promoters further canceled the world’s largest military air show, Britain’s Royal International Air Tattoo, in July.
The back-to-back air shows attract thousands of visitors along with army top brass, plane manufacturers and their suppliers from around the globe to network and do business.
The suspensions, after the suspension of Berlin and Geneva shows slated for May, are fresh proof of the severity of the crisis as virus-related travel bans seize up airline books and divert the attention of participating governments.
Held on alternate years, Farnborough and the Paris Airshow are a barometer for the $800 billion aerospace sector, which had been looking ahead to a soft landing after a decade of progress driven by report jet demand and robust defense spending.
Though many declarations are ready in advance, the flow of orders is difficult to predict as competing plane manufacturers encourage airways to boost their air-show contract tallies, which means the outcome carries more weight than many commerce events.
Instead, the focus has inclined towards keeping deliveries flowing and helping airways and suppliers survive the crisis rather than including to full order books, sources stated.
Two executives stated it might be months or even until 2021 before plane manufacturers book any significant new orders, apart from a handful of commitments in the pipeline.