Undaunted by the global COVID-19 pandemic
that once again is sweeping across Florida, TIACA Air Cargo Forum apparently
is still planning its Miami, debut November 10-11 with Messe München
organizing the event, and a couple of industry publication partners, handling
In early July, looking over the event website
at the booked booths reveals (minus a small army of publications) maybe
30 exhibitors, but less than a half dozen airlines.
The airlines, their sales agents and airports
have always been the meat and potato sponsors at this event.
First Test New Partnership
TIACA, which partnered up with Messe München
after its last event in Toronto two years ago, in 2020, is hawking and
insisting on an exhibition at the time of widespread world tragedy.
Right now, it seems to us these people should
step back a bit and take a deep breath.
We are still very much living inside the
fog of a pandemic that continues to put a permanent dent in all of our
Lost In The Sauce
The Miami ACF from the looks of it, no matter
how well intentioned, will appear for a few days as a diminutive presence
inside a mammoth, newly refurbished Miami Beach Convention Center.
Why not pause this year’s event, as
FIATA World Congress, IATA World Cargo Symposium, CNS Partnership Conference,
and almost every other major industry gathering has done, postponing its
Now seems like a time for people to get
their lives back together, get the children back in school, and to take
measure of what’s left of air cargo, regroup and then get back to
trade shows and face-to-face networking next year.
No Way Out?
“We have tried to cancel our participation
due to the fact that we are stuck at home and most of the world is still
in semi lockdown,” an exhibitor at ACF 2020 told FlyingTypers.
“We have been told that if we cancel
there will be no refund.”
Stuck In The MuC
“We were told if we don’t pay
our invoice and honor our commitment, we will not be granted admission
or be permitted to exhibit at any other Messe München events worldwide,”
another source exclaimed.
Having recently acquired air cargo shows
in Africa and India, and ACF Miami added to their stable of Air Cargo
Europe Munich and Air Cargo China, MuC in 2020 dominates the air cargo
trade show circuit.
During a time of great turmoil and change,
words of understanding, caring and comfort are needed here and might help
pave the way to a better future all around.
The Year From Hell
Face it, 2020, the year from hell has bent
and even broken some legendary companies and airlines, and in case you
are counting, 2020 is only a few days past being half over.
COVID-19 has destroyed lives, torn apart
the hopes and dreams of tens of millions of people worldwide and caused
pain, suffering and loss, unequalled in decades.
The Demon Is Back
Right now, less than four months from the
event, the entire State of Florida is experiencing an uptick in the spread
of COVID-19 pandemic virus and in some cases has headed into reverse in
terms of openings.
In terms of conferee and exhibitor attendance,
apparently the biggest airline in the world and the major tenant at MIA,
American Airlines is not even listed as exhibiting.
Also notably absent are Lufthansa, British,
LAN and other regional and Latin American carriers, and forwarders and
support companies in our industry that regularly attend these types of
So where is the logic of having this event
at a time when other means of contact are holding sway, when IATA and
others have taken a moderate approach toward resuming industry gatherings
during the first quarter of 2021?
And who does TIACA/Messe München expect
to show up as attendees at this event?
One More Thing
Interestingly, the TIACA Forum 2020 in addition
to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 will be taking place in South Florida
during a time which the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
has predicted as “a busy hurricane season for 2020,” through
We were reminded of that as an early season
tropical storm ripped up the east coast of the USA and lashed New York
City Friday with several inches of rain and sixty mile an hour wind gusts.
OK, we get it. South Florida is always a
sweet spot for storms during November, but enough is enough.
Force Majeure May Pull The Trigger
One theory we have heard is that maybe TIACA
/Messe München is waiting for some time in the early Fall 2020 when
“Force Majeure” (FM) might kick in and mitigate their exposure.
FM gets everybody off the hook to play another
“The FM strategy frees all parties
from liabilities or obligations when extraordinary circumstances take
place,” Wikipedia explains.
If that is the case, we can only wonder
even more about the aforementioned “pay up or else” gambit.
The Reality Check
Time to stop thinking about who will sponsor
the masks and hand sanitizer and start to consider the efficacy of actually
looking out for the greater good.
We cannot allow the interest of a few to
dictate how we proceed for the remainder of 2020.
If the lesson of the China CCP covering
up what has become a devastating worldwide pandemic has taught us anything,
it is that gathering in a large group anywhere is a foolhardy proposition
until a vaccine appears or this viral infection of COVID-19 subsides.
Moreover, it is absolutely ridiculous to
ignore our intuitive feelings about self-preservation.
Do not put yourself at risk.
It’s great to be alive right now,
a little weird, but we will get through it.
Resist and stand up for common sense.
There will be many meetings and advancements
we can share online, and sooner than you might expect, we’ll be
together once again like we were.
We just have to get through this together.