Israel’s El Al warns of more financial pain from coronavirus outbreak

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – El Al Israel Airlines <ELAL.TA> estimated on Thursday that the government’s latest restrictions on travelers arriving from five European countries would further damage its results.

Israel on Wednesday ordered travelers arriving from Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland to return home into home quarantine over coronavirus concerns.

“At this stage the company cannot estimate the extent of this impact,” Israel’s flag carrier said in a regulatory filing.

The Israeli government measure effectively cut off foreign tourism from those countries, whose citizens, the Health Ministry said, would not be allowed into Israel unless they could show they had made quarantine arrangements ahead of time.

Israel has already imposed the edict with regard to flights from Italy, China, Thailand and Singapore.

El Al said on Wednesday before the latest restrictions were announced that it was laying off 1,000 of its 6,000 employees and cutting salaries of top management as it struggles to cope with the impact of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Last week, El Al warned of an expected loss in revenue of $50-$70 million in the January-April period due to coronavirus and it has suspended or cut back on many of its flights to Asia and Europe.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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