Israeli carrier El Al is aiming to start restoring flights this month, beginning with a gradual resumption of cargo services on its aircraft.

It says the cargo flights will begin returning on 21 September.

El Al is intending to follow these flights with a restoration of passenger operations from 1 October. The scheduled services will cover a “limited number” of destinations in the USA and Europe.

The carrier suspended its passenger operations in March and has since been immersed in an efficiency drive and effort to obtain vital funding.

“It should be noted that the volume of flights planned at this stage is not material,” says the airline, which had originally expected its flights to remain grounded at least to the end of September.

El Al adds that the total number of services will be determined by demand.

“Flights will be operated in accordance with the guidelines of the health ministry,” it adds.

El Al also points out that, at present, entry into Israel is only possible for passengers holding Israeli passports.

Some 5,940 personnel of the company are on unpaid leave, which will be extended at least to 31 October.

While El Al expects a gradual return of some workers in order to operate the planned services, the figure will initially be relatively small.