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Israel’s El Al to resume some passenger flights in October

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El Al Israel Airlines said on Thursday it would resume some passenger flights in October, a day after the cash-strapped carrier raised $148 million in a state-mandated share offering.

Israel’s flag carrier said it would begin flying to Athens on Oct. 1, followed by daily flights to New York, London and Paris starting Oct. 12.

Its low fare unit Sun Dor will start flying on Oct. 1 to destinations in Greece and Croatia, while cargo flights to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bombay will begin next Monday.

El Al suspended scheduled passenger flights in March at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak when Israel closed its borders to foreigners and it remains unknown when its borders will reopen. It has operated some occasional passenger flights from the United States, Europe and Latin America for Israelis.

Most of its workforce, or 5,940 employees, remain on unpaid leave and El Al said it would gradually bring a small number of workers back.

Israel’s government offered El Al a bailout package that included a $250 million loan 75% backed by the state as long as it slashed expenses and raised money in a share offering.

Results of the share offering have yet to be announced but Israeli media reported that Eli Rozenberg, son of American businessman Kenny Rozenberg, had obtained a controlling stake via the offering. El Al said it could not yet confirm this. 

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