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Cargo carriers warn of disruption to Israel operations

Cargo carriers warn of disruption to Israel operations - Universal Logistics Trade Alerts - October 11, 2023

Toronto, October 11, 2023

Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed that 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”. Israel-headquartered El Al, which includes El Al Cargo, said in a social media post that its flights to and from Israel are moving 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. Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) advised AF and KLM have postponed all flights to and from Tel Aviv until further notice. German carrier Lufthansa confirmed, due to the still unclear situation in Israel and after intensive analysis of the situation, it has decided to suspend its regular flights to and from Tel Aviv up to and including Saturday, October 14th. 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.

In terms of ocean cargo, the following outlines the present status of Israel’s main ports:

Ashkelon: The port is located 15km from the Gaza border. It is an oil port for tankers and has been constantly attacked by missiles. The port is presently closed and the Israeli navy is restricting vessels from entering the harbour. However, some vessels have discharged cargo whilst moored at sea buoys. Any decisions concerning moored vessels are taken on the basis of the security situation, which can change daily.

Ashdod: The largest container handling port in Israel is located 50km from the Gaza border, and it has also been attacked by missiles. Whilst it is currently operational, it is working on an emergency basis only.

Haifa (includes Haifa Bay port and Israel shipyard port): The most prominent port in Israel, handling both cargo and passenger traffic, is located about 200km from the Gaza border and is currently operational.

Hadera: The port is located 100km from the border and it is primarily a coal port. It currently remains operational.

Eilat: The port is in Southern Israel. It serves the export of fertilisers and the import of cars from the Far East. It is not affected by the conflict and is operating as usual.

For more information, please call David Lychek, Director – Ocean & Air Services at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1207.

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