The return of 25 El-Al employees — pilots and ground crews — is being carried out in preparation for a pilot project to resume passenger flights. This comment was received from the airline’s administration on Sunday, May 24th.
The announcement of the call for employees who had been on forced leave for three months generated a lot of rumors about the impending resumption of passenger flights with foreign countries.
El Al says that it was only an experiment of a relatively modest scale: the possibility of resuming flights to several European airports were being studied. How high the demand for such flights can be is not clear: most of the restrictions introduced in March 2020, at the first stage of the coronavirus outbreak, remain in effect until mid-June.
El Al continues to carry out cargo and special flights. The issue of returning to passenger transportation is not considered until the Ministry of Health permits foreign citizens to enter Israel and cancels the mandatory quarantine for arrivals from abroad.
An official comment received from company management said:
“We are not talking about resuming flights, because restrictions continue to apply. At the same time, we intend to implement a pilot project in June to study demand and verify readiness for resuming passenger flights.”
The closed border regime for foreigners in Israel extended until June 15. This decision was made on May 21 by the government following consultations with representatives of the Ministry of Health, the National Security Council, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Tourism, and other relevant departments.
The Civil Aviation Authority has already informed the management of airlines operating in the Israeli direction about this. In particular, it was confirmed that only Israeli citizens are allowed to enter Ben Gurion, but they are required to be in quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in the country.