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El Al Loses $50 Million, Lays off 1,000

El Al Loses $50 Million, Lays off 1,000
Taylor Rains

El Al is the latest airline to make drastic changes to its flight schedule amid the coronavirus outbreak. The airline announced, “As a result of special circumstances due to the coronavirus incident, we have been forced to make commercial adjustments on certain flights.”

Canceled Routes

El Al has taken a hard financial hit due to the coronavirus, forcing it to cancel dozens of routes worldwide. As of Monday, it added a number of European cities to its flight suspension list, including cities and countries that the Health Ministry has not placed a travel warning on. Among the routes affected are Vienna, Budapest, Brussels, Frankfurt, and London. The airline apologized for the inconvenience and has arranged alternate flights for affected passengers. Customers also have the option of exchanging the canceled flight for another destination or freezing the reservation until the route resumes.

The European routes join the airline’s growing list of canceled flights, including those to China, Bangkok, Tokyo, and Italy.


Since the coronavirus outbreak, El Al has reported a $50 million loss, and it is worried that without government aid, it will struggle to remain in business. CEO Gonen Usishkin warned, “difficult days [are] ahead, and it is possible that we will be required to take dramatic steps and make painful decisions.” Unfortunately, it looks like that day has come. In an effort to cut costs, the airline announced it would be laying off up to a thousand of its 6,300 employees. It already let go of 50 trainee pilots and 14 that were awaiting initial training. El Al workers union chairman, Sharon Ben-Yitzhak, is calling on the Israeli government to support the livelihoods of those families affected by the company’s decision.

View Comments (9)


  1. Qatar Airways

    March 3, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    The management have been happy paying themselves huge salaries.
    Why not put done money aside for the bad times.

  2. Dr.Ells

    March 3, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Excellent comment. Management would rather stick out their hands for a gov. handout. Good luck getting that! Perhaps the problem is that there’s a monopoly to begin with; they wanted to cut those cities anyway, and now have a pathetic “excuse” to do so.

  3. drakepassage

    March 4, 2020 at 4:12 am

    Negative amount of sympathy here.

  4. jonathanmarks

    March 4, 2020 at 4:13 am

    In an attempt to deflect well deserved criticism there are reports that management have taken a 20% pay cut starting next week.Too little,too late – if true.A totally bloated workforce and weak management with no strategic vision seem to make this a doomed enterprise

  5. sabbasolo

    March 4, 2020 at 4:27 am

    All these years, despite being a private company, LY received government subsidies on the grounds that in an emergency only LY would continue flying. Now there is an emergency (Covid-19), and they want subsidies because they have cancelled their flights !

  6. moe8555

    March 4, 2020 at 4:53 am


    Yeah, sure… they really wanted to cut routes to London, Frankfurt, Brussels, Vienna, Budapest, and Italy.

    Maybe try reading the article next time?


    March 4, 2020 at 5:54 am

    No wonder they are losing money! Did someone sit down and calculate how they could do the most damage to themselves by damaging the routes with the most traffic?

  8. tod701

    March 4, 2020 at 6:29 am

    Sad to hear.

    I’ve have worked with many nice folks in their engineering and maintenance divisions.

  9. schelsr

    March 5, 2020 at 7:26 am

    Let’s remember their spotless aircraft and superb service while we’re at it.

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