Organizers Cancel Paris Air Show 2021 On COVID-19 Uncertainty
PARIS—The organizers of the Paris Air Show, the world’s largest, have canceled the 2021 edition because of continued uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board of directors of the Paris Air Show and the board of directors of French aerospace industry association GIFAS made the decision unanimously, describing it in a Dec. 7 statement as “inevitable.”
“This reasonable decision was agreed upon unanimously by the Paris Air Show board members in the context of a crisis that has had an unprecedented impact on the aerospace industry,” they said in a joint statement.
The coronavirus crisis has devasted demand for travel, with many airlines grounding the majority of their fleets and relying on government bailouts to survive. IATA does not expect traffic to return to 2019 levels before 2024.
The Paris Air Show is usually held at Le Bourget Airport, just outside the French capital, and in 2019 attracted over 316,000 visitors, split between civil and defense industry professionals and the general public, making it the largest air show in the world. Orders worth $140 billion—across the civil and military sectors—were announced at the 2019 show.
The first Paris Air Show was held in 1909 and the event has taken place every other year since—with interruptions for the two world wars. The 2021 edition was set to be the 54th.
“We are obviously disappointed not to be able to hold the 2021 edition of the Paris Air Show. After many months of all trade show activities being suspended throughout the world, the entire international aerospace and defense community was very much looking forward to being able to meet,” International Paris Air Show chairman and Daher Group chairman Patrick Daher said.
“We have already started work to ensure that the 2023 edition celebrates the resurgence of the aerospace industry on an international scale,” he added.
The event had been due to take place from June 21-27, 2021. The organizers said they would shortly announce the exact dates of the next edition, which will be held in June 2023.