El Al Halts All Passenger Flights Amid Coronavirus Restrictions

Israel’s flagship carrier says it will continue to transport cargo and other 'essential' flights

Allison Kaplan Sommer
Allison Kaplan Sommer
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An El Al plane is seen at Ben Gurion Airport.
An El Al plane is seen at Ben Gurion Airport.Credit: NIR ELIAS / Reuters
Allison Kaplan Sommer
Allison Kaplan Sommer

El Al announced on Thursday it will temporarily suspend all passenger flights to and from Israel due to the coronavirus, following an “assessment of the current and future situation."

The decision was made for a number of reasons, including "our concern for the health of our passengers and flight crew, and the sharp drop in demand for flights,” the company said in its announcement.

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Israel’s flag carrier said that it would continue to transport cargo, and that it would continue with other “essential” flights, presumably additional coordinated with Israel’s foreign ministry to bring home Israelis stranded abroad.

Regular service to Paris, London and New York, the company said, would resume on April 4, with the suspension continuing to all other destinations until May 5.

Flights were set to cease at midnight on March 27. The company’s final flights to Ben-Gurion airport on Thursday evening were set to fly as scheduled from New York, Paris, London and Toronto to Israel, along with rescue flights from Delhi, India and San Jose, Costa Rica.

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