El Al to operate 60 cargo flights from Wuhan to European destinations

The international airport in Wuhan reopened in early April after two months of closure, serving the Hubei province capital where the COVID-19 outbreak first originated.

El Al will operate 60 humanitarian cargo flights from the Chinese city of Wuhan (photo credit: EL AL)
El Al will operate 60 humanitarian cargo flights from the Chinese city of Wuhan
(photo credit: EL AL)
El Al will operate 60 humanitarian cargo flights from Wuhan, China, to several major European cities via Israel, the airline announced Monday.
The Israeli flag carrier will initially operate 15 weekly cargo flights from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport to Ben-Gurion Airport, followed by nine weekly flights to London, three to Paris and three to Frankfurt.
The international airport in Wuhan reopened in early April after two months of closure, serving the Hubei province capital where the COVID-19 outbreak originated.
El Al’s Dreamliner fleet will fly the routes, each carrying approximately 25 tons of humanitarian goods to assist the battle against the pandemic. The first flight was scheduled to land at Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday, carrying masks and protective suits, before taking off for London.
On Sunday, the Tel Aviv District Labor Court approved the withdrawal by El Al of NIS 105 million in surplus finances from worker pension funds, as the Israeli airline battles to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.
More than NIS 319m. is currently being held in funds managed by Clal Pension and Provident Funds and Psagot Provident Funds and Pension. The funds were established to protect workers during the privatization of the airline in 2003 and were designated to assist retiring employees.
The majority of workers eligible to benefit from the pension funds have already retired, and scheduled payments for the remaining 249 eligible employees who started working for the airline before 1982 are being held in personal pension funds, the court said.
El Al will be permitted to withdraw the funds on May 10, unless the National Labor Court rules it is necessary to delay the execution of the decision, the court said.
El Al is negotiating with the Finance Ministry and Bank Discount to finalize a rescue package to enable the airline to continue operations.
Negotiations for a government-secured loan valued at approximately $350m. are yet to reach a conclusion after eight weeks of talks. While a decision is likely to be finalized this week, any possible agreement would require that 1,600 of the airline’s 6,500 workers be laid off.


Tags El Al Wuhan