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Officials cancel Paris Air Show over coronavirus concerns

Officials cancel Paris Air Show over coronavirus concerns
A Boeing 787-9 performs a demonstration flight at the 53rd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, France on June 17, 2019. Air show officials announced Monday the 2021 show has been canceled because of the coronavirus. Photo by Eco Clement/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The organizers of the iconic Paris Air Show said Monday they were grounding the event because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, saying it will return in 2023.

The French Aerospace Industries Association and the Paris Air Show board agreed that the biennial air show, which was scheduled for June, with its large crowds could put visitors at substantial risk.

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They said the show would return in 2023. Exhibitors will receive a full refund and the air show will take on "full financial responsibility" for the decision.

"We are obviously disappointed not to be able to hold the 2021 edition of the Paris Air Show," Patrick Daher, chairman of the International Paris Air Show, said in a statement. "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."

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Daher said work has already started on the 2023 air show with plans to "celebrates the resurgence of the aerospace industry on an international scale."

Gilles Fournier, CEO of the International Paris Air Show, promised the 2023 air show will "be larger than ever, and our teams are already working to ensure its success."

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The air show cancellation was another blow to the struggling air travel industry. In 2019, Airbus and Boeing announced nearly $80 billion in deals during the air show. The Farnborough International Airshow near London canceled its 2020 show and hopes to hold its next one in 2022.

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"For us at Farnborough International, Paris represented a major step towards recovery," Gareth Rogers, CEO of Farnborough International, said in a statement Monday. "We send our colleagues at Paris International our very best wishes. We know how truly devastated they are."

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