EL AL on survival mode

EL AL aircraft at Tel Aviv

EL AL on survival mode. The airline is facing a crisis due to the effect coronavirus is having on aviation. This has resulted in countries imposing travel bans and restrictions which have resulted in suspension of flights and grounding of aircraft.

The airline is now in need of financial aid. EL AL had suspended its operations at the end of March and was suppose to restart on April 4th but has further extended its suspension. The airline is operating repatriation and cargo flights.

Financial struggles

EL AL is in need of financial aid. EL AL on survival mode. The airline had requested the treasury for $350 million which it had rejected. EL AL has suspended all commercial operations until 2nd May and is only operating Cargo and repatriation flights. The airline operates an Boeing fleet of 45 aircraft.

EL AL on survival mode
The airline is struggling financially and had a request for $350 million rejected. Photo: EL AL

“Representatives from the Finance Ministry informed the company that for now the Treasury’s team of professionals is not approving the requested aid package.”

The company said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

 There was Sunday meeting between El Al, the CEO of Israel’s Discount Bank and the Finance Ministry. Reports in the local media suggest that the finance ministry believes the airline won’t be able to repay the current loan given the current circumstances in aviation.

EL AL is a private company in which the state holds major shares. The airline has now turned to the government seeking assistance on the matter.

State of employees

EL AL employs around 3,570 permanent employees and 2,608 temporary staff. The airline has already put around 5,500 workers on leave which represents around 85% of their workforce.

EL AL has already put around 5,500 employees on leave
EL AL flight crew of the historic non-stop flight to Melbourne. Photo: EL AL

The airline has said it is planning to send further employees on leave. Those who are able to work from home are doing so and those who cannot are being put on leave without pay.

Future of the airline

The airline is losing money and has already lost millions due to rise in cancellation of flights and drop in bookings. This is adding to the list of financial commitment the airline has. The airline has suspended operation of flights.

EL AL B787-8
The airline has suspended operations and is set to being operating to a handful of destinations from May. Photo:EL AL

The airline had initially suspended operations until April 4th but owing to the global aviation and travel climate it has further suspended its operations until May 2nd.

From 3 May 2020 until 30 May 2020, EL AL is planning to operate flights to New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Johannesburg, London, and Paris. The airline says these are subject to change and flights to other destinations will be operated too.

Conclusion

EL AL is one of the many airlines who are on the edge. Airlines have suspended operations and have parked their fleet due to travel bans and restrictions. The aviation industry might need a bail out of around $1 trillion as losses are piling up as days go by.

EL AL is on the edge requiring government assistance much like other airlines around the globe as losses are mounting due to grounding of planes and travel restrictions imposed by governments worldwide.

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