Cargo carriers warn of disruption on Israel operations

Copyright: Jaromir Chalabala/ Shutterstock

Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said international flights continue to operate to and from Israel following attacks on the country by Hamas over the weekend.

The CAA said that currently “the Israeli airlines are operating as usual”. The organisation added that currently “there are still international flights to and from Israel by many airlines”.

Israel-headquartered El Al, which includes El Al Cargo – in the process of beginning freighter operations, said in a social media post that its flights to and from “depart as usual”.

The Israel Airports Authority, which operates Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, said that the airport “is working as planned including departures and landings”.

However, a number of airlines worldwide have cancelled or delayed flights in response to the situation, and cargo carriers have warned of potential disruption to shipments.

FedEx said on its website on October 9: “In light of the events unfolding in Israel, our inbound and outbound flights to the country have been temporarily suspended. We are closely monitoring the situation and as of today, we are adjusting our services as follows:

“All FedEx and TNT services in and out of Israel are temporarily suspended for today and tomorrow (October 9-10, 2023).

“All shipments destined to Israel that are currently transiting via our network will be safely held in our facilities. Delivery of shipments already in Israel will be performed where safe and possible.”

UPS also warned of potential delays in an alert on its website. It said: “Service disruptions may occur due to the current situation in Israel. We have contingency plans in place to move shipments that are already in Israel to their destinations as quickly as it is safe to do so, and we continue monitoring the situation closely.”

Meanwhile, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) said: “AF and KLM have postponed all flights to/from TLV until further notice. This also means that TLV will be closed for all cargo operations with immediate effect and until 16 October.”

And Maersk stated on October 11: “Tel Aviv Airport remains open and operational, and a number of our partner airlines are continuing to use the hub. Some carriers have cancelled flights to and from Tel Aviv in the wake of the ongoing situation, and we will reach out to affected air freight customers directly to discuss options for their cargo.”

German carrier Lufthansa also said on its website: “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 Saturday (14 October).” 

Lufthansa Cargo has operated a freighter service to Tel Aviv since October 2012. 

Other airlines that have cancelled flights include Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Air Canada, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued a Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB) for Israel’s airspace.

“Air operators are recommended to ensure that a robust risk assessment is in place together with a high level of contingency planning for their operations and to be ready for short notice instructions from the Israeli authorities,” said the EASA.


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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]