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China's biggest air show postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic

·1-min read

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, the country's biggest air show, has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the show's organiser said on Tuesday.

The air show had been scheduled to take place in the southern city of Zhuhai in mid-November. The organisers said they would announce new dates later, according to a statement on the show's website, which added that health and safety considerations were behind the postponement.

The biennial event usually draws key suppliers - such as Airbus SE <AIR.PA>, Boeing Co <BA.N> and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) - and has traditionally been used by Beijing to show off its growing aviation capability, including military fighters and drones.

The postponement comes as foreigners are largely barred from entering China over concerns about importing coronavirus cases, and there are severe restrictions on international flights.

This year's largest aerospace expo, Britain's Farnborough Airshow, was cancelled because of travel curbs and an industry downturn resulting from the pandemic.

Many Western aerospace companies have reduced budgets and some were not planning to attend the Zhuhai air show if it had gone ahead, company sources told Reuters last month.

(Reporting by Stella Qiu in Beijing and Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Gerry Doyle)