Israel's El Al Extends Commercial Flight Suspension Until June 30

The Israeli flag carrier is seeking state-backed loans of $400 million, a process that could see it come back under government control

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The El Al logo on a building at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, August 23, 2017.
The El Al logo on a building at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, August 23, 2017.Credit: AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

El Al Israel Airlines on Sunday extended a suspension of scheduled commercial flights until June 30 but said it would continue to use its aircraft for cargo and occasional passenger flights.

While Israel has eased tight coronavirus lockdown restrictions, incoming passengers are still required to enter quarantine and a ban on foreigners entering the country remains in force.

Due to weak demand, Israel’s flag carrier halted flights in late March but the suspension has been extended repeatedly. About 6,000 of the carrier’s 6,500 workers are on unpaid leave until June 30.

El Al has been seeking state-backed loans of $400 million to help it through the coronavirus crisis. The government is asking the airline to issue $150 million in shares as part of the bailout package.

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