Photo Credit: Tsahi Ben-Ami / Flash 90
El Al Airlines, the national airline of Israel

The top echelon at Israel’s national carrier, El Al Airlines agreed Tuesday to take a 20 percent salary cut as a means of helping the company survive the economic impact of the current global novel coronavirus epidemic.

The wage cut for executives and managers is to be applied retroactively to salaries effective March 1, according to multiple reports that emerged Tuesday night. However, there’s been no official response from the airline.


El Al suspended some of its flights to Cyprus on Tuesday, a move that followed cancellations of flights to Vienna, Budapest, Brussels and Frankfurt the day before as the airline continued to scale down its activities in accordance with the decline in passengers as the epidemic escalates.

But even that may not be enough to stave off an eventual layoff. El Al is preparing to send home up to 1,000 of its permanent and temporary staff, out of a total 6,300 employees.

Travel bans and other measures imposed by Israel’s Health Ministry, have combined with the declining reservations of those who can either no longer afford to travel, or who fear the specter of the coronavirus at either end of the route, to create increasingly difficult conditions for the airline.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.