World's largest private jet conference canceled

By Doug Gollan, July 1, 2020

The National Business Aviation Association said the 2020 version of its annual conference and exhibition won’t take place due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic

Consumers are turning to private jets in record numbers as they seek to avoid exposure to the deadly COVID-19 Coronavirus. However, the largest industry conference has been canceled.

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced its 2020 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) is off. The event was scheduled to take place in Orlando, Oct. 6-8. It typically draws over 20,000 participants.

BACE includes both a conference and exhibition, seminars, plus an a static display of private jets. In addition to industry executives, the display of private jets attracts UHNW consumers who can in a day or two get a first-hand look at the industry’s newest offerings.

Last year, Flexjet used the event – held in Las Vegas – to announce twin billion-dollar orders from Embraer and Gulfstream.

The cancelation was based on clear guidance from public health officials at all levels of government addressing, the associate said. It highlighted the complex COVID-19 related challenges associated with large indoor venues, according to the announcement.

The Florida Department of Health recently issued an advisory. It recommended that individuals avoid participation in gatherings of more than 50 people.

The trade group said travel restrictions “make it not only difficult but in many cases impossible, for individuals and companies to participate in the world’s largest business aviation event.”

“The promotion of safety is a primary reason NBAA was founded in 1947, and safety is at the foundation of all we are today,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

He added, “As COVID-19 has emerged as a pandemic, NBAA has consistently looked to local, state, federal, and global health officials to inform our decisions and guide our actions with regard to live events.”

Bolen continued, “NBAA has always advised its members to conduct a thorough risk evaluation before every flight to determine whether or not the mission can be safely conducted. We have brought that same discipline to the upcoming NBAA-BACE, and we regret that this year’s event must be grounded.”

The 2021 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition will take place from Oct. 12-14 in Las Vegas.   

For private jet users, research shows potential exposure to COVID-19 is more than 30 times lower compare to airline travel.

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