IATA has announced the postponement of next week’s planned 14th World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Istanbul due to the coronavirus outbreak, marking the second major international freight event to be cancelled in just a few days following the decision last weekend to cancel Transpacific Maritime in Long Beach.
Despite no reported cases of the Coronavirus in Turkey, IATA has taken the unprecedented step to defer the Istanbul event, which was scheduled for 10-12 March.
Announcing the postponement, IATA officials said, “Since the first outbreak of COVID-19 in mainland China, we have been monitoring the situation in Istanbul closely, working daily with local and international authorities. We have been following the WHO’s guidelines. However, there has been an increase in the number of participant cancelations over the past few days for reasons including company travel bans and senior delegates needing to stay close to base during the crisis; therefore, we feel that it would be best to postpone the event.”
“Further information will follow in the coming days regarding delegate, sponsor and exhibitor situations and consequential actions that need to be taken. We are very sorry that this decision had to be taken but we are sure you will all agree it was the correct one and for the right reasons,” the officials added.