London Book Fair: Latest on Disruption

Sunday has brought a clearer picture as to how much this year’s London Book Fair will be disrupted by the current flight ban in many parts of England and Western Europe. Many parts of England over the past two days have been bathe in unusually warm sunshine for April and it is this mild weather which is actually helping to prolong the movement of ash clouds from last week’s volcanic eruption in Iceland. Whatever happens, it is clear now that even with air travel restrictions being lifted on Monday, it is going to take many days for airlines and airports to deal with flight cancellations. As of Sunday lunchtime, an imposed flight ban across the UK and many parts of Western Europe remains in place until at least Monday 7am GMT.

London Book Fair Director Alistair Burtenshaw and his team have had a great deal to contend with over the last few days and they all remain committed to doing as much as they can to ensure as many as possible of this week’s events and seminars for the Fair still go ahead. Saturday’s event on how to get published went ahead as normal, as will today’s Digital Conference. 

It is worth noting that many international attendees, particularly publishers and agents, who may not be able to get to London do have offices or representation in the UK and trade stands at the Fair will still be manned. Burtenshaw made his latest communication earlier today on the official London Book Fair site.

“The London Book Fair Team is working hard to minimise the disruption to the fair caused by the volcanic ash temporarily closing airports in the UK and Europe. Our customer service team are calling international exhibitors to offer assistance with manning stands and arranging alternative travel plans where possible. Our view is that the show must – and will – go on and we will provide all the help we can to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.

We know that many international exhibitors and visitors have already arrived and those travelling from Europe are finding alternative transport. Our substantial UK attendees remain unaffected. Our website is being updated regularly with practical information and helplines. I want to thank everyone for their calls of support and determination to get to the fair and to reiterate that we will be in continual communication over the coming days.

Sincerely, Alistair Burtenshaw”

Today trade publication Publishers Weekly listed some of the confirmed non-attendees at this year’s Fair, and this includes the editorial and sales staff of Publishers Weekly, as well as Pegasus Books, Quirk Books, Dufour Editions, Beaufort Books, Midpoint Trade Books, Macaw Books, Kensington Publishing and Hyperion.

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