Israel’s flagship airline company, El Al, has announced that they will be letting go of 4,000 of its 6,300 employees to unpaid leave as revenue has dramatically decreased amid the coronavirus outbreak according to Israel Media.
Among those to get laid off are 600 of the airliner’s 650 pilots reports Channel 12 News. Although the company cannot accurately estimate the extent of the damage, original forecasts showed their January-April revenue to by $140 million-$160m.
El Al requested a loan from the Israeli government for $700 million to continue to function during the next three months. The request received some blowback as the company is only worth 320 million.
El Al is also the only airliner that provides ‘Aliyah’ flights for Jews looking to return to Israel to be naturalized. On 24 May 1991, an El Al Boeing 747 cargo plane airlifted a record-breaking 1,087 Ethiopian Jews from Addis Ababa to Israel in the framework of Operation Solomon. Three babies were born during the flight. The plane carried twice as many passengers as it was designed for. In less than 36 hours, 14,500 Ethiopian Jews were flown to Israel