ZHUKOVSKY, August 14 (RIA Novosti) - President Barack Obama has banned U.S. Air Force planes from participating in MAKS-2009 air show in Russia citing the ongoing economic crisis, the show organizer said on Friday.
"Eight U.S. aircraft were originally set to be showcased at MAKS and two more to participate in demonstration flights. But the U.S. president's last-minute decision was not to send the planes, which is due to economic, rather than political, reasons," said Vladimir Borisov of the Aviasalon firm.
Earlier reports said over 711 companies, including 465 Russian firms, will participate in the biennial air show outside Moscow on August 18-23.
MAKS bills itself as "a demonstration of the advantages and development trends of Russian science and industry in such high-tech areas as aviation, space, missile engineering."
The United States dispatched nine Air Force planes to the previous show, including a B-52 Stratofortress which stirred intense interest, as well as F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon fighter jets that performed demonstration flights.
Borisov also said the A-380 airliner, the world's largest and most technologically advanced aircraft to date, would not be showcased either due to a busy schedule of test and routine flights.
Russia's Interior Ministry said on Friday the crisis would not affect the number of visitors to the show this year, with 100,000 tickets already sold and up to 220,000 visitors expected next Sunday alone.