Alitalia Cancels Most Flights To and From Israel

Lufthansa and Alitalia jetliners parked at the Milan Linate airport, Italy. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni/Files)

Although there are many empty seats on flights abroad as travelers cancel their plans in the wake of coronavirus, airfare prices are unlikely to go down significantly – and in fact, fares to the U.S. may be going up. That’s because airlines are curtailing their flights to and from Israel, as demand for seats falls.

The latest airline to cut flights is Alitalia – one of the most popular airlines for Israelis traveling to the U.S. Beginning Monday, Alitalia will be running only one flight a day out of Israel, instead of its usual four.

Reservations on Alitalia flights have fallen dramatically since the announcement by the Health Ministry that Israeli visitors returning from Italy need to spend two weeks in isolation, and the issuance of travel warning to northern Italy.

While Italy is a popular destination for Israelis, transfer flights via Rome on Alitalia are a popular way of getting to North America. With the Italian airline cutting service dramatically, Israelis now have fewer options to travel to the U.S. and Canada.

Another airline that announced over the weekend that it was cutting service to Israel was low-cost carrier Wizz Air. Wizz flies from Israel to numerous European destinations, and is also used as a carrier to transfer to U.S.-bound flights. Alitalia and Wizz join other airlines that in recent days have cut flights, including El Al, Arkia, Israir and RyanAir.