The Israeli airline El Al decided to halt its remaining passenger flights to and from Israel starting at midnight on Thursday and lasting until April 4 because of a lack of demand for flights amid the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Our concern is for the health of the passengers and the air crews, and the need to cut expenses at this stage until the crisis ends and recovery begins,” El Al announced on Thursday, according to a report by the business daily Globes.

The airline is carrying out its remaining flights on Thursday from New York, Toronto, London and Paris to Israel, in addition to extra flights to bring back stranded Israelis from India and Costa Rica. El Al will continue flights to bring back Israelis from abroad and use its passenger planes to transport cargo, according to the report.

El Al is requesting $200 to $300 million in loans from the state to overcome the situation caused by the coronavirus. El Al is a private company with the state owning the majority of shares.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.