IATA’s World Cargo
Symposium (WCS) website confirms that the 14th edition WCS scheduled for
Istanbul March 10-12 will go on as scheduled.
“The health and safety of our delegates
are of the utmost importance to us,” IATA said.
“Our Emergency Response Plan has been
activated as we closely monitor developments in the Novel Coronavirus
No Restrictions On Turkey
“Our approach is to follow the World
Health Organization (WHO) and local authorities recommendations,”
“At this juncture, no concern has
been raised with Istanbul or Turkey and there is no travel or trade restrictions
in this region.”
COVID -19 Is A Moving Target
“This whole COVID-19 matter is a moving
target,” a leading air cargo executive told FlyingTypers.
“It's difficult to make forward decisions
other than to sit tight and hope we can come through this with a minimum
of human suffering and that the economic and financial impact will not
be too severe.”
Standing back and looking things over a
bit, the situation may be under control in Turkey, however WCS is a gathering
of people from all over the world.
In point of fact, World Cargo Symposium
is an outgrowth of the mandated yearly meeting of the top cargo executives
of the IATA trade group member airlines.
In the face of a situation, that is possibly
developing into a global pandemic, World Health Organization’s recommendations
aside, the question must be asked, is this meeting absolutely necessary
at this time?
Elsewhere the COVID-19 coronavirus has taken
down one high-profile cargo gathering in Zurich. The FIATA Headquarters
Session scheduled for March 26 was cancelled,
with FIATA saying that the event will not be rescheduled.
In news from another global industry, major
tech conferences around the world have cancelled events, including Facebook’s
annual F8 developer conference in San Francisco.
The Vox website last week ran a list of
cancelled high-tech conferences reporting, “Facebook
said that due to concerns about the virus, it’s canceling F8 —
its biggest event of the year, which last year attracted thousands of
attendees from dozens of countries.
“Instead,” Vox wrote,”
Facebook will put on smaller “locally hosted events, videos and
live streamed content”.
San Francisco, as this is written Feb 29, has yet to report its first
COVID-19 case, but the thinking seems to be focused on risk factors and
lack of control on who might show up at a large gathering of people at
this juncture in time.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed (right)
has declared a local emergency amid coronavirus fears.
“Although there are still zero confirmed
cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly,
and we need to step up preparedness,” Breed said.
“We see the virus spreading in new
parts of the world every day, and we are taking the necessary steps to
protect San Franciscans from harm.”
Here is a running list of notable tech conferences,
which typically draw between 500 to 100,000 attendees a year, that have
been canceled so far due to coronavirus as reported at www.vox.com:
Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (March
Facebook Global Marketing Summit in San
Facebook F8 in San Jose, California (May
EmTech, Asia in Singapore (Postponed to
Google News Initiative Global Summit in
Sunnyvale, California April 22-23.
Shopify’s developer conference, Unite,
in Toronto (May 6-8).
“It’s an unprecedented disruption
to the usual packed lineup of annual tech events every spring,”
IATA Assures Precautions
“We are preparing to welcome the delegates
of the World Cargo Symposium (March 10-12),” IATA said, “and
are looking forward to seeing you all in Istanbul.”
“All necessary precautions will be
taken to provide a safe and conducive business environment to our delegates,”
More click here.
Read Part I of The COVID-19 coverage here.