The request for aid came in a letter signed by the chief executives of El Al, Arkia and Israir and addressed to the ministers of transportation, finance, economy and tourism.
In the letter, the chief executives asked the state to reduce the fees the airlines pay at Ben-Gurion International Airport at least through year’s end. They asked the government to defer payments and to exempt them from these charges so long as the fighting continues.
The airlines are seeking state-backed loans to pay suppliers and to boost their cash flow, and they want help covering wage costs and a grant to cover the cost of employees who are called up to the reserves. The government is also being asked to compensate the airlines for the longer flightpaths imposed as a result of rockets being launched from inside Gaza and the operation of Israel's defensive Iron Dome rocket interceptors.
The companies called on the government to increase advertising to draw tourists back to Israel, and to give incentives to local companies that buy tickets from Israeli airlines.
Last week, the Transportation Ministry had rejected a request by foreign and Israeli airlines for compensation.