Lufthansa to suspend all flights to Israel amid virus fears
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Lufthansa to suspend all flights to Israel amid virus fears

The airline cited 'exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the coronavirus and the decline in demand' in a statement

Views of the waterfront and beaches of Tel Aviv  from Jaffa
Views of the waterfront and beaches of Tel Aviv from Jaffa

Lufthansa said it is suspending all flights to Israel due to lower demand after the country imposed travel restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

All flights travelling to Tel Aviv and Eilat will be suspended from Sunday for three weeks, the German airline said on Thursday.

Some flights travelling to Tel Aviv on Friday and Saturday have been cancelled.

Israel’s health ministry imposed on Wednesday new travel restrictions for all arrivals from Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland.

Israelis travelling from those countries are to self-quarantine for 14-weeks, under the new restrictions.

Other arrivals from the European countries will be barred entry unless they can demonstrate plans to self-quarantine during their stay.

The restrictions “will lead to a considerable drop in demand for flights to Israel,” the German airline group said in a statement on its website.

The statement cited “exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the coronavirus and the decline in demand” and revealed the plans would hit capacity by up to 25 percent.

The company, which comprises Swiss and Austrian airlines, is suspending about 7,100 European flights, including to mainland China, as the virus continues to spread.

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