Only three international airlines still operating at Ben-Gurion Airport

While 140 airlines served Israel's largest airport prior to the coronavirus outbreak, only Aeroflot, United Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines are continuing operations.

El Al Israel Airlines planes are seen on the tarmac at Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel March 10, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
El Al Israel Airlines planes are seen on the tarmac at Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel March 10, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Just three international airlines are continuing operations at Ben-Gurion Airport, the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) said Monday as it rolled out a new set of cost-cutting measures.
While 140 airlines served Israel's largest airport prior to the coronavirus outbreak, only Aeroflot, United Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines are continuing operations. "Rescue flights" operated by Israeli carriers in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry are also operating from the airport on an on-demand basis.
Israeli airline Israir is also continuing daily domestic flights to Eilat's Ramon International Airport.
Citing revenue losses  exceeding NIS 2 billion caused by the outbreak, including a significant loss of earnings from terminal franchisees, the IIA said it "was left with no choice" but to carry out dramatic cost-cutting measures in agreement with worker representatives.
Measures include a further 600 workers being immediately placed on unpaid leave, across-the-board pay reductions for critical staff, additional wage cuts for senior management, halting all infrastructure projects and further reduction of operating hours at Ramon Airport.
AN EMPTY departure hall of Ben-Gurion Airport this week – Israel’s policies to contain the spread of coronavirus were clearly prescient (Photo Credit: Flash 90)AN EMPTY departure hall of Ben-Gurion Airport this week – Israel’s policies to contain the spread of coronavirus were clearly prescient (Photo Credit: Flash 90)
Prior to the announcement, some 2,000 workers had already been placed on unpaid leave, Ben-Gurion Airport operations had been reduced to just two concourses at Terminal 3, and Ramon Airport had been shut overnight.
"The IAA and the airlines are the primary casualties of the crisis, but the franchises, ground handling companies, aircraft fuelers, catering and other operating partners are also severely affected by the crisis," the IAA said in a statement.
Flagship airline El Al grounded all flights on Thursday until April 4 as it faces a sharp decline in demand and the need to reduce expenditure until the outbreak subsides. The carrier said it would continue to operate rescue flights from destinations around the world as well as cargo flights to and from Israel, including the use of passenger airliners.
Last week, the International Air Transport Association estimated a decline of $113b. in passenger revenues for the worldwide aviation industry in 2020. Many airlines are likely to run out of cash before any recovery arrives, with most of them possessing only two months of cash at the start of the year, it said.
British low-cost carrier EasyJet announced on Monday that it would be grounding its fleet of 344 aircraft, stating that there "can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights."