Israeli flag-carrier El Al has put 5,500 personnel on unpaid leave until the end of May, following the cuts to its network in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

El Al employs some 6,350 staff overall.

It has been holding talks with the Israeli ministry of finance regarding government support to the carrier, either through credit or other means, to help it cope with the impact.

The airline says there is no certainty over the extent of state support which might be obtained.

El Al says its passenger services schedule has been “significantly reduced” and adjusted, following a fall in demand and overseas restrictions.

“The company is operating a limited number of flights on some routes,” it says.

As a result, it has taken action to place most of its staff on unpaid leave. The airline says this leave period will run until 31 May.