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El Al CEO orders flights to return to Israel

El AL Boeing 777

El Al Boeing 777 (Image: El Al)

The CEO of Israeli airline El Al, Gonen Usishkin, today ordered all El Al flights to return to Israel as the airline cancelled all passenger and cargo flights until further notice.

The airline is in the midst of a financial crisis which has prompted pilots unions to say they would not embark on any flights for El Al until a solution was found.

El Al has reportedly lost US$140m in the first half of 2020 which has seen the global aviation industry collapse with the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The airline is in “advanced stages” of a rescue package from the Israeli government but this can not be finalised without support from the employee unions but that may not be straightforward.

Israel’s KAN News reported the Pilots union as saying: “the administration of the company did not even respect the agreements that were signed with the union less than a month ago, the union had no choice but to arrive to the conclusion that the owners of the company are unable to save it from its situation,”

Around 100 pilots have remained working for the airline while the rest have been placed on unpaid leave.

El AL is unlikely to return to flying until the rescue package has been finalised.

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