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El Al cancels flights to San Francisco, Europe amid ‘unprecedented’ virus crisis

El Al on Friday cancelled a flight to San Francisco and several others to a number of European cities amid a global drop in travel over fears about the new coronavirus, with a senior company official calling it “an unprecedented crisis.”

El Al was also expected to cancel flights on Sunday to Munich, Budapest, Amsterdam, Brussels, Bucharest, Vienna and Marseille.

On Wednesday, El Al fired some 600 permanent workers as it grapples with ongoing financial losses caused by the virus outbreak.

Other employees in high paying roles are likely to have their salaries cut.

The airline also axed hundreds of temporary workers, who are employed by the company for under five years. The fired staff include air crews, flight attendants, ground crews and others.

The company appears to be one of the hardest hit in Israel by the virus. On Wednesday, the Bank of Israel said the country’s economy was weathering the crisis, but was ready to step in to help if necessary.

On Tuesday El Al cut salaries of its senior staff by 20 percent. The salary reduction includes the company’s board of directors and chairman, and retroactively takes effect from March 1, Channel 12 reported.