El Al cancels all flights to Italy, Thailand; postpones Tokyo route launch

The airline expects revenues to drop by $50-70 million between January and April as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

An El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 737-900ER airplane takes off from the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport as seen from Paracuellos del Jarama, outside Madrid, Spain, August 8, 2018 (photo credit: REUTERS/PAUL HANNA)
An El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 737-900ER airplane takes off from the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport as seen from Paracuellos del Jarama, outside Madrid, Spain, August 8, 2018
(photo credit: REUTERS/PAUL HANNA)
El Al is canceling all flights to Italy and Thailand and will postpone the launch of a new route to Tokyo, it said Thursday.
Following limitations on travel imposed by the Health and Interior ministries, the flag carrier said it was halting flights to Milan, Venice and Rome starting Friday, February 28, until March 14. Flights to Naples operated by El Al subsidiary Sun d’Or have also been canceled.
All flights to Bangkok, El Al’s only destination in Thailand, will be frozen from March 2 until March 27, it said. Facing reduced demand, El Al halved service to Bangkok earlier this month. The scheduled launch of a nonstop route to Tokyo on March 11 has also been postponed until April 4.
In addition, the renewal of flights to Beijing and Hong Kong will now be pushed back until May 2, El Al said.
Earlier on Thursday, El Al informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange it expects revenues to drop by $50 million to $70m. between January and April as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The forecast does not include the impact of the Health Ministry’s statement on Wednesday, calling on Israelis to avoid unnecessary travel.
According to El Al estimates, the decrease in revenues is expected to be “partly offset by a reduction in the company’s operating expenses.” The financial impact of the outbreak is expected to range between $25m.-$45m. by the end of April, it said.
“In accordance with developments in Israel and around the world, government directives and a decline in demand, the company continues to make adjustments to its operations,” El Al said, citing reduced operations in the Far East in particular.
On Wednesday, the Health Ministry urged citizens to reconsider travel abroad. It also instructed Israelis returning from Italy to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return, in addition to those arriving from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.


Tags El Al