Middle East business aviation show cancelled in 2020 amid Covid-19 concerns

The next edition of the biennial event will be held in December 2022

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - December 10, 2018: A Legacy 650E by Embraer. MEBAA Show 2018. Monday the 10th of December 2018 at Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The MEBAA Show, one of the biggest business aviation events in the Middle East, has been cancelled due to concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions, its organisers said.

The next edition of the biennial event will be held in December 2022, the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) said in a statement on Wednesday. It will be located at the Airshow site at Dubai World Central (DWC).

"As a result of the ongoing challenges with global border restrictions and lockdowns, we have decided to realign the MEBAA Show with its original dates and postpone it again to 2022," Ali Ahmed Alnaqbi, founder and executive chairman of MEBAA, said.

"We understand this news will be extremely disappointing to the business aviation community; however, we believe that in rescheduling the show to its original date cycle, we will be better positioned to deliver a quality event for everyone."

The airshow had been postponed to February 2021 from its original date this month. The decision to scrap this year's show comes after the Covid-19 pandemic hammered the aviation industry, forcing airlines to idle their jets, while major planemakers Boeing and Airbus slashed jobs and reduced production.

The Paris Airshow, one of the largest aviation events in the world, was slated to take place in June 2021 but has also been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The next edition will be held in June 2023.

The pandemic also forced the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to hold their annual meetings virtually this year. The World Economic Forum, which meets in Davos every January was forced to move its upcoming event to Singapore in May next year, Japan postponed the Tokyo Olympics from this year to next summer, Dubai postponed this year's Expo 2020 to 2021 and Germany scrapped the Hannover Trade show.

"All recent indications suggest that the business aviation sector will make a strong recovery in the coming years and the MEBAA Show will play an important role in restoring confidence, driving collaboration and creating new opportunities for the sector," Mr Naqbi said.