Israel approves 400-mln-USD loan to save leading airline amid COVID-19 epidemic

Israel’s finance ministry has agreed to guarantee 80 percent of a 400-million-U.S.-dollar loan to save the country’s leading airline El Al, Ynet news website reported Sunday.

However, to receive the guarantee, El Al will have to cut expenses by at least 50 million U.S. dollars, while the owners have to immediately inject additional 28.5 million dollars to the company.

Since 1948 when it was founded, El Al had been a government company until 2004 when it moved into private hands.

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the company had to stop most flights, put about 6,000 employees on unpaid leaves and announced its risk of going bankrupt.