Coronavirus: Farnborough and RIF Fairford Airshow Cancelled

Farnborough International Airshow and the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) both have been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Farnborough Airshow
Farnborough Airshow is the largest airshow Photo: FAS

RIAT is the largest military airshow Photo: RIAT

The trade events were due to take place in July. Farnborough Airshow was scheduled from July 20th to 24th, whereas RIAT was scheduled from July 17th to 19th.

Farnborough Airshow is the world’s largest trade exhibition for aerospace and defence industries, where both civilian and military aircrafy are demonstrated to potential customers and their investors.

Along with the Paris Airshow, it is the largest airshow by economic value as well, bringing huge number of orders and commitments to the manufacturers.

Farnborough Airshow is held on even years and it alternates with the Paris Airshow. The event is held at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, UK.

Farnborough Airshow
Farnborough Airshow is attended by over 80,000 visitors Photo: FAS

Events around the globe are being postponed or cancelled to slow the spread of wide-spread corona virus. This is the most extreme events to be cancelled in the aviation industry.

This cancellation also signals that the organizers aren’t expecting the situation to get better by late July.

What the Farnborough board has to say

“After very careful consideration, the unprecedented inpact of the global corona virus pandemic has forced this decision in the interests of the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors, contractors and staff,” said Farnborough’s Board of Directors. 

Airshow bring orders worth billions Photo: RIAT

“This decision was reached talking into considerations several major factors surrounding the outbreak of  COVID-19, all of which we have concluded, make it is impossible for us to create and host the Airshow this July,” he added.

The Farnborough Airshow was attended by 80,000 visitors along with 156 civil and military deligates back in 2018.

Deals of worth $192 billion ( £147.7 billion) were signed or committed, including orders for more than 1,400 commercial aircraft in 2018.

The organisers said that the decision to cancel this event would be an “Incredible disappointment” to the aviation industry. Organisers also said that the biennial event would return in 2022.

RIAT is attended by over 100,000 visitors every year Photo: RIAT

Meanwhile, RIAT is the UK’s largest military airshow, which is held annually at the RAF Airford Base in Gloucestershire, England.

What did the RIAT Board say

“It is with enormous regret and disappointment that we have to announce the cancellation of this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo, due to take place from 17 to 19 July, as a result of the challenging and unprecedented environment presented by COVID-19,” said RIAT representative.

Every year, RIAT is attended by over 100,000 visitors. A total of 245 aircraft from 39 armed air services, took part in the event last year.

What were we expecting?

Many avgeeks were expecting the Boeing 777X would debut in the Airshow. The aircraft was supposed to debut last year at the Paris Airshow. However, due to issues in the GE9X engines, the first flight of the aircraft didn’t take place. The first flight of the Boeing 777X took place earlier this year.

Boeing 777X
Boeing 777X was expected to debut in the airshow Photo: Boeing

Due to ongoing corona virus pandemic, demand for new aircraft was already down in February. Airbus reported no new orders as well as cancellations last month while Boeing reported a negative 25 net cancellations with 18 gross orders and 43 cancellations.

Were you planning to attend these Airshow? What were you expecting from these Airshow? Feel free to share in the comments below:

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