Photo Credit: Tsahi Ben-Ami / Flash 90
El Al Airlines, the national airline of Israel

Israel’s national carrier El Al Airlines has again extended its suspension on passenger flights to and from Israel until July 31, according to a notice sent Wednesday (July 17) to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Cargo flights and “one off” services are not included in the suspension, according to the airline.


Some 6,000 of the 6,500 employees of the carrier are also to continue on unpaid leave until the end of July as well.

The current service suspension was scheduled to end on June 30.

The country’s domestic Arkia Airlines has also extended the unpaid leave of its employees until July 31 as well.

Sources told the Globes business news site that the airline has “written off the summer, its peak season.”

Israel to Open Skies to Visitors from Greece, Cyprus

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, and at a coronavirus cabinet meeting earlier in the day on Wednesday (June 17) that he intends to open Israel’s borders to visitors from Greece and Cyprus on August 1, but only if the rate of infections from COVID-19 does not climb.

Israel Starting Second Wave of Coronavirus, Says Health Ministry

So far, that seems to be a dim hope, as the rate of infections has been steadily climbing in the Jewish State, with Health Ministry Public Health Services Director Professor Sigal Sadetzky warning on Tuesday that it appears the country is entering a second wave of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

Israel Ready to Nationalize El Al with Potential $150 Million Investment

Following critical financial damage to the airline due to the pandemic and a government ban on flights plus quarantine requirements of those who arrive in Israel, El Al announced last month it faced a crippling debt of some $00 million and would need a massive investment to carry it through, either through bank loans guaranteed by the government, or by issuing stocks – or a combination of both.

At the end, it appears the airline will be nationalized as a way to save it, with a combination of cost-cutting measures, investments by the government and guaranteed loans.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.