Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion AirportFlash 90

The Knesset approved on Tuesday night the first reading of the Air Services Law, which aims to reduce the eligibility for compensation for those passengers whose flights were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, Maariv reported.

If the bill is passed into law, it would temporarily change the way financial benefits are provided to passengers whose flights were canceled or changed by the airlines in accordance with the current Air Services Law.

The current law stipulates that passengers whose flights were canceled or the takeoff time changed are eligible for certain benefits in accordance with the conditions and policies of the airlines. However, the coronavirus outbreak caused widespread cancellations and drastic changes to the industry, leading to serious concerns that some of the companies would end up in financial crises.

According to the bill, the reason for it being presented is that the current law "was made during a time when the flight industry was operating under normal conditions, but now, the reality today is extremely different from the reality in which this law was created. Due to coronavirus, the amount of air travel has been drastically reduced. In the current situation, airlines were critically harmed by the coronavirus crisis due to an enormous drop in demand, but still have to pay their regular high expenses, which they have little ability to change."

"Continuing this situation creates a real danger to the continued existence of Israel's airlines, and therefore we must find ways to reduce the damage caused to the companies by the crisis, and amending the law is one of them."