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.