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Sun, Jan 09, 2022

Asian Business Aviation Expo Canceled

Simmering 'Omicron' Outbreak in China Means Lockdowns and Stringent Entry Restrictions Will Bar Many From Entry 

The website for ABACE 2022 was updated to notify prospective attendees of its third cancellation, formerly planned to take place from April 12-14, 2022. The NBAA and Shanghai Airport Authority may well have decided that the conditions leading up to the expo are not likely to remain stable amid COVID concerns throughout Asia. China’s border remains largely impassable to the average non-emergency tourist, requiring particular visas or citizenship to enter the country for the foreseeable future.  While the rationale given points attendee health, it's most likely that ABACE would be a ghost town if held under current guidelines. The average Expo brings nearly 10,000 attendees from around the world to exhibit their wares and catch up on changes in business aviation.

China's 'Covid Zero' approach to containment has led to authorities struggling to maintain outbreaks of the newer omicron variant, leading to a series of byzantine lockdown rules and regulations throughout various provinces and airports along the way.  China's COVID domestic measures include frequent (and enforced) lockdowns, universal masking, vaccination passport controls, and mass testing, but thus far have shown only middling efficacy in halting the tide. Beijing's goal of 0 new  cases is expected to stand and even lead to harsher measures as the country digs in its heels to maintain the economically vital Beijing Winter Olympic Games. April is still a while away, and previous experience throughout the COVID-19 response has proven that Chinese authorities act quickly and unequivocally, and it would seem likely that viral containment measures will not be appreciably eliminated prior to the event. 

“As we know, the continued pandemic has prompted governments around the world to institute travel restrictions and requirements, presenting significant logistical and other challenges for exhibitors,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We were hopeful we could have held the event, but the health and safety of all ABACE participants is our highest priority, so we have elected to postpone it through 2022. We will continue to support the resurgence of business aviation in Asia and around the world.”

FMI: www.abace.aero/2022

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