SINGAPORE – The fifth iteration of the Singapore Airshow opened on Tuesday morning (Feb 11) to emptier hallways, even as staples like deal announcements and aerobatics went ahead.
Even though it is only open to trade visitors for now – public days begin this weekend – there was a noticeable drop in attendance at what is billed as Asia’s largest aerospace and defence event.
Industry observers said that the reduced numbers represented a “significant” drop from previous years, with one noting that you had to previously “elbow others out of the way” in order to see an exhibit.
At this year’s airshow, ST observed several exhibitors sitting idle at near-empty booths, waiting for people to approach them, on a day which is supposed to be bustling with trade representatives.
In an opening speech on Monday (Feb 10), Experia Events chairman Vincent Chong said the event is still expected to see about 40,000 trade visitors.
And in a reminder of the coronavirus’ impact on the event, the booth for helicopter maker Bell stood empty, while a big space in the middle of the hall could have possibly been Lockheed Martin’s, the largest exit of the airshow.
However, the ST Engineering stand was bustling and larger companies like ST Engineering, Airbus and Boeing still drew large crowds.