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Lockheed Martin pulls out of Singapore Airshow over coronavirus concerns

Lockheed Martin pulls out of Singapore Airshow over coronavirus concerns

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Lockheed Martin is seen at Euronaval, the world naval defence exhibition in Le Bourget near Paris, France, October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

WASHINGTON: US weapons maker Lockheed Martin said on Friday (Feb 7) it will not participate in next week's Singapore Airshow over coronavirus concerns.

"Following the Singapore Ministry of Health's Feb 7 declaration of a Code Orange health alert, we consulted with the US government and our medical teams and decided not to participate in the Singapore Airshow," the company said in a statement.

"We determined this was in the best interest of our employees and aligned with the US Department of Defense's decision to reduce its presence," it said.

READ: Coronavirus outbreak: Singapore raises DORSCON level to Orange; schools to suspend inter-school, external activities

READ: Novel coronavirus: 3 new patients in Singapore with no China travel, link to existing cases

Earlier on Friday, people familiar with the matter said the Pentagon will reduce the size of its delegation travelling to the airshow.

Ellen Lord, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, will no longer attend the event as the lead Pentagon representative, the people said. Other Pentagon leaders including uniformed military officials still plan to attend.

The airshow will continue next week, but organisers might look to limit public visitors, Singapore said on Friday, as the country reported three more coronavirus cases that authorities have not yet linked to previous infections or travel to China.

READ: Thaipusam celebration, Singapore Airshow to go on: Lawrence Wong

READ: Chinese aerobatics team took ‘stringent’ health tests, also concerned about coronavirus in Singapore: Ng Eng Hen

The new cases take Singapore's virus tally to 33 with the alert level raised to Orange, denoting the disease is severe and passes easily from person-to-person. Red - the highest alert level - indicates it is spreading widely.

The trade portion of the airshow, held every two years, is set to begin on Feb 11.

Two other aviation manufacturers, DeHavilland Canada and Viking Air, on Friday also pulled out of the airshow, citing the increased alert level.

Their parent company Longview Aviation said the decision was made "out of an abundance of caution for the well-being of our employees". 

Business jet manufacturers Bombardier, Textronand General Dynamics's Gulfstream division are among other companies that have withdrawn from the airshow.

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Source: Reuters/nh


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