Arkia Israeli Airlines (IZ, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) has announced that the Nakash brothers, Joseph, Raphael, and Abraham, who own 70% of the airline’s capital, will inject ILS25 million shekels (USD7.3 million) into it, "even though they have no obligation to do so," the business newspaper Globes reported on August 2 citing a statement from the carrier.

The airline has also committed to signing up for ILS130 million (USD38.1 million) worth of loans from two of Israel's biggest banks, Hapoalim and Israel Discount Bank, in the coming days. The loans will be 75% state-guaranteed.

The move comes in the wake of demonstrations by hundreds of Arkia employees against the Nakash brothers on July 29, organised at several locations but most prominently near the home of Arkia chairman Avi Hurmero, who also manages the Israeli branch of the brothers' New York-based Jordache Enterprises, and in front of the carrier's headquarters.

Arkia's fleet has been grounded since March and all employees put on unpaid leave. The protests continued this week, despite the announcement, as dozens of staff marched on August 3 to the Hotel Orchid Tel Aviv, which belongs to Jordache, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

Meanwhile, sources told Globes that Arkia's board of directors plans to appoint Gadi Tepper, who served as Arkia's chief executive until 2014, as chairman to replace Hurmero. He was briefly appointed to this position for a few weeks in 2019 after the departure of chairman Avi Nakash.

Arkia had been considering keeping its fleet grounded until April 2021 and has already returned A321-200neo 4X-AGN (msn 8830) to its lessor. It was ferried from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion to Tucson on May 27, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. The airline currently has two A321-200NX(LR)s, one ERJ 190-100LR, one ERJ 190-200AR, and two ERJ 190-200LRs, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module.

However, Hurmero assured on August 2 when announcing the cash injection that "we are doing everything possible to save the company out of concern for about 550 dedicated workers and their families, despite the severe economic crisis that hit us due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the first phase, the company will resume flights on the Tel Aviv-Eilat Ramon route, followed by flights to 'green' countries such as Greece and Cyprus. However, we note that these countries do not yet allow entry for Israeli citizens, a situation that is not expected to change until at least mid-August."