Israir (6H, Tel Aviv Sde Dov), the only Israeli carrier that has operated scheduled routes during the course of July, has put 245 of its 420 employees on unpaid leave until the end of February 2021, the financial daily Globes reported. It does not see travel fully resuming until March.

Israir currently operates domestic flights between Eilat Ramon and both Tel Aviv Ben Gurion (12x weekly) and Haifa (6x weekly) as well as less regular flights to cities and resorts in Europe according to demand.

The airline has taken approximately half of ILS140 million (USD41 million) in loans from two banks, 75% of which is guaranteed by the state, and will soon take the second half, it told the newspaper. This is higher than the ILS93 million (USD27 million) previously reported. The loans will be repaid over seven years, with the company paying only interest in the first year.

Israel's two other scheduled passenger carriers, El Al Israel Airlines and Arkia Israeli Airlines, have furloughed their employees until at least August 31. Arkia has also grounded its entire fleet until further notice.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Transport was "given a budget by the Ministry of Finance" to keep aircraft flying to Eilat after Israir CEO Uri Sirkis had threatened to halt the service if it did not receive government assistance.

No financial details were disclosed, but the aid is believed to be worth hundreds of thousands of shekels so that Israir can operate 7x daily from the capital, including a 0730L flight from Eilat for residents needing medical treatment.

Sirkis had told TheMarker at the end of June that "in two weeks we will stop flights to Eilat because we cannot hold domestic operations for much longer. We are bleeding to death and no one is giving a solution."

Meanwhile, Israir parent IDB Development has rejected an offer to sell the airline to a group of investors led by former pilots association head Koby Brot and former Israir pilot Tal Trigel for ILS90 million (USD26.3 million). IDB CEO Aaron Kaufman demanded no less than ILS120 million (USD35 million). The value of the company was estimated at ILS132 million (USD38.6 million) at the end of 2019.