LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The world’s most popular brand of model airplanes has been impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus.
GeminiJets, the leading brand of collectible aviation models, is feeling the effects of the halt in work being done in China. The Las Vegas-based brand has announced there will be no new products in the foreseeable future.
GeminiJets and its parent company, Airliners Distributing Inc., are headquartered in Las Vegas, but their products are manufactured in China.
Typically, every five weeks a new batch of GeminiJets precision, die-cast aircraft models are released around the world.
However, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Chinese government ordered factories and businesses to shut down. This has interrupted the normal flow of manufacturing and production for many global brands, including Apple, GM, Ford, Mattel, and GeminiJets.
“The situation is beyond our control,” says GeminiJets President Elliot Epstein.
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Dear Friends and Collectors, The GeminiJets February 2020 releases will begin shipping to most of our retailers and distributors next week. There are going to be extended delays on all the February goods destined for the UK, Australia and Asia through at least 1 March. Several of the new models are already in short supply. So don’t delay pre-ordering from your favorite retailer! Next, our thoughts are with those around the world who are either battling or have fallen victim to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Most of the cases are located in China, which, for the past few weeks, has essentially been shut down by its government to help contain the virus. Chinese offices, businesses and factories have been closed and will reportedly remain so until at least 1 March. The production impact this will have on hundreds of thousands of brands worldwide, including GeminiJets, is unprecedented. Please understand that this is a situation that’s beyond our control. In the short term, we’re sorry to announce that there will be no releases for March 2020. All of us at GeminiJets thank you for your business and love for the model aircraft hobby. It’s our hope that normal business will resume as soon as possible. We will update you again soon!
“We’ve been told that our factory in China may reopen on March 1, but that could certainly change. Even still, it will take time for the factories to hire workers, train workers and basically ramp up after being closed for six weeks since Lunar New Year,” Epstein said.
“Our best-case scenario would still have us at least two months behind,” says Epstein. “We won’t have new product leaving China until at least April 1st at the earliest.”
Last Friday the company announced to its customers, collectors, retailers, and distributors that there would be no new models for March. As of today, that has been pushed back indefinitely.
GeminiJets began operations in December 1998 and initial product sales began in January 1999.
Over its history, GeminiJets has released close to 3,000 different model airplanes with a production quantity of 400 to 2,000 pieces per release. The brand’s most popular commercial airliner miniatures include those of Emirates, Delta, Southwest, United, American and Alaska Airlines.