March 1, 2020 / 5:43 PM / a month ago

Israeli union calls on gov't to help El Al weather coronavirus

JERUSALEM, March 1 (Reuters) - Israel’s main labor union called on the government to allocate 50 million shekels ($14 million) to help prevent layoffs at the country’s flag carrier, El Al airlines, which has been cutting back flights due to the global coronavirus outbreak.

“The coronavirus crisis has caused a severe cash flow crisis for El Al, and the company has announced intentions to lay off about 1,000 employees,” said Arnon Ben-David, head of the Histadrut labor federation, which represents workers at the company.

El Al, which first suspended flights to Beijing in January and later to other destinations in Asia, declined to comment on the possibility of layoffs.

The airline said on Thursday it expects a loss in revenue of $50-$70 million in the January-April, and that did not include the newest suspension of flights to Italy.

$1 = 3.4655 shekels Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by Tova Cohen

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