Israeli flag-carrier El Al has opted to suspend all remaining passenger flights, as it awaits potential government financial support.

El Al says the suspension, on 26 March, will continue until 4 April.

It will continue to provide rescue and repatriation services as well as freight flights, some of which will involve using its passenger jet fleet.

El Al says a “streamlining” plan has been drawn up and that the airline is awaiting a response from the ministry of finance regarding support from the government.

“State support is vital in the short term, to assist the company with coping with the significant effects of the coronavirus crisis,” it adds.

El Al says it is continuing to put additional employees on leave as necessary.

Figures from pan-European air navigation service Eurocontrol show that Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport activity had fallen by more than 80% by 21 March, compared with the previous year.