El Al, Israel’s airline, has canceled a series of flights to European cities – including Brussels and Vienna- on Monday, citing the need for “commercial adjustments” due to declining demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
“As a result of special circumstances due to the coronavirus incident, including instructions and recommendations made by the Health Ministry to the public, we have been forced to make commercial adjustments on certain flights,” El Al said in a statement. “In this context, we are offering alternatives for travel on other flights. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”
Passengers scheduled to fly to destinations including Vienna, Budapest, Brussels and Frankfurt are among those affected by the cancellations.
The carrier has already canceled all flights to China, Hong Kong and Italy, and is facing falling demand across its network. The scheduled launch of a nonstop route to Tokyo on March 11 has also been postponed.
According to the Israeli Health Ministry instructions, a two-week home quarantine period is required from all nationals who visited mainland China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, South Korea, Japan or Italy in the last 14 days. Last week, the Health Ministry called on Israelis to reconsider all foreign travel.
On Sunday, El Al announced that it is laying off 60 pilots and 100 cabin crew who were hired recently and have not yet completed their training courses. The airline is also proposing laying off 1,000 of its 6,200 employees but have not reached agreement with the workers committee on the matter.