Photo Credit: Moshe Shai / Flash 90
EL AL planes parked at Ben Gurion International Airport.

El Al airlines has announced that it is extending the ban on passenger flights until Sept. 30 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The company is extending the unpaid leave of most of the airline’s 6,080 employees, Israeli business daily Globes reported on Tuesday.

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The airline said that the reason for the extension was because of “continued restrictions regarding mandatory isolation for travelers entering Israel (except from a very small number of countries) and the ban on foreign tourists from entering Israel,” according to the report.

“There is still a significant way to go until the restart of scheduled flights. In order to see people resuming flying we need both countries of origin of a journey and destinations to remove isolation requirements, shorter checking procedures, and no less important high public confidence in flights,” said CEO Gonen Usishkin.

El Al is continuing to operate a limited number of cargo flights.

Israeli Health Ministry Associate Director-General Itamar Grotto said on Monday that Israel is planning to allow the entry of tourists into the country as of next month.

Israel partially reopened its skies on Sunday, following months of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a plan unveiled by the Israeli government last week, those entering from “green countries” will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival.

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