El Al flights to Chicago postponed indefinitely

"We still don’t know when we will fly at all," a company official said.

El Al plane (photo credit: ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS)
El Al plane
(photo credit: ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS)
It is still unknown when El Al will fly again despite a deal reached on Wednesday, but it is already clear that El Al’s flights to Chicago have been postponed indefinitely, sources at the company said.
El Al announced its first flights to Chicago in 20 years at a festive reception in Chicago in November led by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, El Al’s CEO Gonen Usishkin, Israeli Consul-General Aviv Ezra and leaders of the Jewish community. The flights were well advertised and featured on boxes of Pizza Hut thick pizzas in Israel.
The first flight was supposed to take place on March 22, but the coronavirus got in the way, and no flight has happened since then.
“We still don’t know when we will fly at all, but Chicago has been postponed indefinitely,” a company official said.
Usishkin signed a cost-cutting agreement on Wednesday for El Al’s administration, maintenance and engineering sectors.
“The hardest part of the agreement is having to part with 1,750 workers in the three sectors and to cut costs in welfare and work practices,” Usishkin said in a letter to El Al staff. “These agreements are a key stop on the way to getting needed assistance from the government.”
Usishkin described the crisis the airline has been facing due to coronavirus as “unprecedentedly harsh.”
But he said the Finance and Transportation ministries were committed to helping the company. He called upon the pilots’ union to reach an agreement with El Al as soon as possible.
Company officials said it is impossible to know when El Al will fly again until there is an agreement with the pilots and allocations from the government.
“The path before us is still long,” Usishkin wrote.


Tags El Al travel