El Al Suspends Service to Number of European Cities Due to Coronavirus
JNS.org – El Al has canceled flights to many European countries because of low demand due to fears of the coronavirus.
After the Israeli Health Ministry recommended Israelis not to travel abroad, El Al is seeing a significant drop in passengers to Vienna, Budapest, Brussels and Frankfurt, with those flights now suspended, the Israeli business daily Globes reported on Monday.
“Due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus outbreak, and the recommendations by the Ministry of Health to the public, we are compelled to make commercial adjustments to certain flights, although as part of this we are providing alternative options on other flights. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience,” El Al said in a statement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the El Al workers’ committee chairman, telling him that he had ordered the ministerial committee to help the company, according to the Israeli business daily.
El Al Airlines CEO Gonen Usishkin had asked the company’s human resources department to prepare to let go 1,000 of the company’s 6,300 employees, citing financial losses due to the global coronavirus outbreak and diminished travel, according to Israeli media reports.
Israel’s national airlines had reported to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that the epidemic could result in $70 million in lost revenue from January to April, according to a report by Globes on Thursday.