(March 1, 2020 / JNS) El Al Airlines CEO Gonen Usishkin has 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.
El Al 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 the Israeli business daily Globes on Thursday.
The estimate was made before El Al was forced on Friday to stop flights to Italy for two weeks. Flights to Bangkok are being canceled until the end of March starting on Monday, while the launch of the carrier’s new new flight to Tokyo is being delayed until April, the report said.
The global travel industry is being hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, with German carrier Lufthansa announcing that it is cutting its short-haul flights by up to 25 percent as demand drops, according to a report in the Financial Times on Friday. British Airways parent company IAG said the situation meant it could not provide a profit outlook for 2020.
Many companies are deciding to cancel scheduled events, and the Swiss government has banned all events expected to be attended by more than 1,000 people, including the Geneva Motor Show, the report said.
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