El Al Grounds All Flights Amid Labor Dispute

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An ELAL flight seen taking off from Ben Gurion International Airport, on March 24, 2018. Photo by Moshe Shai / FLASH90

JERUSALEM (JNS) – Israel’s national carrier El Al Airlines has ceased all flights to and from Tel Aviv until further notice, amid a labor dispute and a rise in COVID-19 infection both at home and abroad.

EL Al CEO Gonen Usishkin ordered all the company’s aircraft to return to Israel, in addition to canceling two passenger and four cargo flights scheduled for July 1, Globes reported.

El Al’s cargo business already saw a drop when foreign airlines resumed flights to Israel, according to the report, which also noted that on Tuesday evening, the company reported a $140 million loss for the first quarter of the year.

Pilots’ committee representative Nir Reuveni on Tuesday criticized El Al management for refusing a generous offer to rescue by the government to help the airline handle its debt. He accused the current managers of being incapable of leading the company, which is seeking an investment of $400 million.

Separately, foreign ministry officials said on Tuesday that stated deadline for the opening of Israel’s borders would not be met.

“With such a high infection rate, Israel can forget about the August 1 resumption [of tourism],” a Foreign Ministry official told Ynet. “All the work that has been done so far has gone down the drain. Israel was ready to open its borders to at least 12 countries, which is no longer relevant. Israelis are no longer wanted.”

(Vosizneias).

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