The Singapore Airshow, Asia’s biggest aerospace gathering, is to go ahead as planned next week, despite a viral outbreak in China prompting some firms to pull out, but a key meeting of aviation officials has been canceled, organizers said yesterday.
The trade portion of the airshow, held every two years, is set to begin on Tuesday next week under the shadow of the outbreak that has prompted measures by several nations, including Singapore, to contain the spread of infections.
The city-state banned entry to all Chinese visitors and foreigners with a recent history of travel to China, which had raised concerns over the staging of the event.
The move came as the death toll in China from the flu-like virus rose to at least 425, with two other fatalities reported in Hong Kong and the Philippines.
The WHO last week declared the virus, which has spread to almost two dozen countries, a global emergency.
“In view of the evolving 2019 novel coronavirus situation, the organizer will introduce enhanced precautionary measures to safeguard the well-being and safety of all attendees,” Experia Events Pte Ltd said in a statement.
Additional temperature screenings are to be conducted at the show’s access points.
However, Experia said an aviation leadership summit scheduled on the eve of the event would be canceled as this would allow aviation executives to work out responses to the virus outbreak.
Aviation data firm OAG said there would be more than 25,000 fewer flights operated to, from and within China this week compared with two weeks ago, with 30 airlines halting services.
Citing industry sources, Reuters reported earlier that the summit, which was to involve 300 aviation executives, comprising government officials, civil aviation authorities and airline executives, had been canceled.
International Air Transport Association director-general Alexandre de Juniac would no longer travel to Singapore, said a spokesman representing the airline body.
Ten companies from China, including Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (中國商用飛機), which is developing the C919 narrowbody jet, and another six exhibitors from four other countries, would not attend the airshow, Experia said.
Business jet manufacturers Bombardier Inc, Textron Inc and General Dynamics Corp’s Gulfstream division are among those that have pulled out.
However, Boeing Co, Airbus SE and Lockheed Martin Corp, among the biggest exhibitors, yesterday said that they still plan to attend the show.
The lower attendance at the airshow, which is used as a barometer of the industry’s health, is a poor omen for a sector grappling with a sharp fall in travel demand due to the virus.
At the last show in 2018, there were 54,000 trade attendees from 147 countries and 1,062 participating companies, some of whom ended up signing deals covering commercial aviation, defense, maintenance and repair operations and business jets.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a