UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi aerospace conference postponed due to coronavirus

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DUBAI, March 5 (Reuters) - An aerospace conference in Abu Dhabi this month, where Saab President Micael Johansson and Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides were due to attend, has been postponed until June because of the coronavirus, an email sent to participants and seen by Reuters said.

The Global Aerospace Summit, which was expected to be attended by around 1,000 industry executives, will now take place from June 8 to 10 instead of March 17 to 19.

The decision was taken following directives by United Arab Emirates authorities and guidance from conference host partners Abu Dhabi state investment firm Mubadala and state defence company EDGE, the email said.

“Due to the international profile of Summit attendees and current travel restrictions in place driven by COVID-19, stakeholders believe postponement is necessary,” it said.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam, Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas and Pascale Sourisse from Thales International were also due to attend.

The conference organisers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The UAE, which has reported at least 27 coronavirus cases, on Thursday advised citizens and residents against travelling overseas. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Susan Fenton and Jane Merriman)