El Al executives take 20% wage cut amid declining demand

Senior management and directors at El Al agreed to take an immediate wage cut of 20% on Tuesday as the Israeli airline continues to deal with the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

El Al painting a Dreamliner aircraft gold to honor Jerusalem  (photo credit: Courtesy)
El Al painting a Dreamliner aircraft gold to honor Jerusalem
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Senior management and directors at El Al agreed to take an immediate wage cut of 20% on Tuesday as the Israeli airline continues to deal with the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The wage cut, which will be applied retroactively to earnings from March 1, was confirmed by a source to The Jerusalem Post. There was no official response by the airline.
Last week, El Al said it expects revenues to drop by $50 million to $70m. between January and April as a result of the outbreak, resulting from declining demand and wide-ranging travel restrictions imposed by the Health Ministry. Executives are currently preparing a plan to layoff up to a thousand of the company’s 6,300 permanent and temporary staff.
On Tuesday, El Al cancelled some flights to Cyprus as it continues to adapt its activities to the decline in demand. The decision follows a series of cancellations on Monday to destinations including Vienna, Budapest, Brussels and Frankfurt.
“As a result of special circumstances due to the coronavirus situation, including instructions and recommendations made by the Health Ministry to the public, we have been forced to make commercial adjustments on certain flights,” the airline said. “In this context, we are offering alternatives for travel on other flights. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”
The carrier has already canceled all flights to China, Hong Kong and Italy. The scheduled launch of a nonstop route to Tokyo on March 11 has also been postponed. In an initial move to cut costs on Sunday, El Al fired 50 trainee pilots and an additional 14 pilots waiting to begin their training at the company.
In light of the cancellations, El Al announced a further relaxation of their commercial policy for passengers scheduled to fly to Thailand and Japan. The airline said it would allow customers to change the date of their flights or destination without incurring additional fees.
"El Al is assisting passengers whose flights were canceled and is offering them an alternative to minimize the changes as much as possible," the company said in a statement. "However, we apologize to customers impacted by the changes in the flight timetable and sincerely hope that they will be accepted in an understanding manner."



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