Air cargo disruption continues in Israel but some carriers resume flights
13 / 10 / 2023
Ben Gurion International Airport. Image source: Flik47/ Shutterstock
Some airlines have resumed routes to Israel, however, the industry is still exercising caution as conflict continues between Israel and Hamas.
FedEx has resumed its service to Israel, according to an October 12 service alert.
“FedEx International inbound and outbound service to and from Israel has been reinstated. Pick-up and delivery services will be performed according to local authority instructions, where it is safe and possible.”
The company previously said in an update on October 9 that it had suspended inbound and outbound flights to the country.
And UPS said in a service alert on its regional website for Israel that it had now also resumed international service to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, although it said ground services were still disrupted in South Israel.
“We have put in place a contingency plan allowing us to resume daily international service to and from Tel Aviv.”
The company added: “Northern areas of the country and Tel Aviv: delivery and pick-up services have resumed. Southern areas of the country: delivery and pick-up services are suspended until further notice.”
But the latest service update for international airfreight on its US website still said: “The majority of flights from/to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv are cancelled. While some flights continue to operate, passengers are being prioritised; capacity for cargo is very limited.”
In comparison, DHL Group said of its DHL Express flights: “We strongly condemn the recent attack on Israel. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the people in Israel, our colleagues, and their families – their safety remains our top priority. DHL Express is still operating in and out of Israel, but we are closely monitoring the situation and will adapt our operations as necessary.”
Meanwhile, Lufthansa’s latest operational update said it will not resume flights to and from Israel before October 23 on account of security issues around the current conflict.
The carrier said: “Due to the still unclear situation in Israel and after intensive analysis of the situation, Lufthansa has decided to suspend its regular flights to and from Tel Aviv up to and including Sunday, 22 October.”
US carrier American Airlines has in fact suspended all flights to and from Tel Aviv until December.
Despite the challenges for airlines, the situation may be an opportunity for charter companies to boost business. Charter firm Chapman Freeborn said in a LinkedIn update on October 12 that currently “charter flights are operating in and out of Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV)”.
Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) updated its information on airline operations on October 12. It said: “Foreign airlines are currently reducing and occasionally even cancelling their flight schedule to Israel.”
But the Authority noted that: “Israeli airlines are still operating as usual.”
The Israel Airports Authority, which operates Ben Gurion International Airport, maintains that operations are continuing as normal, however, the airport’s live flight board shows a number of cancelled and delayed flights.