El Al Orders Stop to All Flights

YERUSHALAYIM -
El Al planes parked at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Flash90)

El Al has canceled two passenger flights and four sightseeing flights scheduled for Wednesday, after the pilots’ union announced that pilots would not embark on flights due to the company’s financial crisis.

According to Globes, El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin ordered all of the company’s aircraft to return to Israel. All flights, including both passenger and cargo flights, are canceled until further notice.

El Al lost $140 million in the first quarter of 2020, according to a report by the company on Tuesday. Since March, the company has nearly halted all regular passenger flights.

Apparently, the company does not plan to fly cargo flights or regular flights to various destinations anytime soon. El Al has already advised that regular passenger flights will not be recommenced until July 31. It should also be noted that the company has also decreased its cargo flights, with foreign airlines’ aircraft returning to Tel Aviv with cargo.

The pilots’ union announced on Tuesday evening that after “the administration of the company did not even respect the agreements that were signed with the union less than a month ago, the union had no choice but to arrive at the conclusion that the owners of the company are unable to save the company from its current situation,” Kan News reported.

El Al announced that it was in advanced stages of coming to an agreement to receive aid from the government, but still needed the agreement of the workers and unions in order to receive the aid.

Since the coronavirus crisis began, about 100 pilots have continued working for El Al, while the rest are out on unpaid leave.