Israeli flag-carrier El Al is unable to estimate the impact of new government requirements that people returning to Israel from anywhere in the world must enter 14-day quarantine.

The requirement will have a “material adverse effect” on El Al’s operations, the airline says.

“But at this stage [we are] unable to assess the extent of the impact,” it adds.

El Al is continuing – like many airlines – to adjust its route network and operations to align with demand for flights, but says it expects cancellation of “many” of its scheduled services.

Israel’s pilots association is insisting that the government “must come to the rescue” of the country’s aviation industry, and help protect its airlines from the coronavirus threat.

El Al has been holding extensive negotiations with workers through the Histadrut trade union organisation.

But Histadrut says the airline’s management, after two days of talks, has “rejected” an offer from staff to provide $1 billion in “painful” concessions over a seven-year period.

“I am worried about El Al’s fate,” says Histdrut chairman Arnon Bar-David, claiming that the airline has turned down all the proposals it had generated through discussion with the carrier’s staff.

Local media in Israel, citing internal documents, claim El Al is to temporarily lay off 80% of its workforce.

Israel’s government has banned foreigners from nine territories – mainly in Asia, but also Italy and Egypt – from entering Israel, and is implementing a policy by which foreign citizens arriving from other countries will need to prove they can meet the 14-day isolation requirement.