The ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza is continuing to have an impact on UK-Israel trade, warns the international delivery expert ParcelHero.

Flights to Tel Aviv International Airport are still entirely suspended by some major airlines and other operators have rescheduled and cancelled many flights. For example, Reuters reports the US airline Delta has taken the decision to suspend all flights to Israel until 31 October. British Airways also took the decision to suspend flights to Israel on Wednesday evening, after dramatically turning back an aircraft shortly before its scheduled landing at Tel Aviv because of safety concerns.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘These cancellations have impacted some express parcels and airfreight. Not only are some cargo flights disrupted, but so are freight shipments to and from Israel that make use of the belly hold of passenger aircraft.

‘However, while there may be delays, some major international couriers say their express services continue to operate in and out of Israel. Couriers are also advising they are following contingency plans to move shipments that are already in Israel to their destinations as quickly as it is safe to do so. Our international listings will reflect all changes as they are confirmed with us.

‘Shippers should note that, because of the circumstances, many companies’ delivery date money-back guarantees have been suspended.

‘Other Middle East destinations are also likely to see delays in deliveries as couriers and airlines adopt a cautious approach to flight plans to ensure their crews’ safety. Many services are likely to be re-routed.

‘It appears many container shipments are still arriving in Israel via sea routes. The port of Ashkelon is closed but Adani Ports, operator of the Haifa Port in northern Israel, says Haifa is currently operational. So is the major port of Ashdod while Maersk says its port operations across the country’s major terminals are functioning normally.

‘Away from logistics, the crisis is having a wider impact on global trade. The US-based oil company Chevron has been instructed by Israel’s energy ministry to shut down its Tamar natural gas field off the country’s northern coast. International retailers with Israeli operations also report severe disruption. For example, the fashion retailer H&M says its local franchise partner has temporarily closed all stores in Israel

‘Some much-needed good news is that fears of a global oil crisis like that of 50 years ago, created by the Yom Kippur War have receded. This follows a fall in oil prices on Wednesday, following top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia’s pledge to help stabilise the market.

‘Israel is an increasingly important market for the UK following a post-Brexit trade partnership agreement. UK-Israel trade increased by 42% in 2022 over 2021. The UK’s total trade with Israel is now worth over £7bn, of which £3.8bn are exports and £3.6bn are imports. It remains likely this market will be disrupted.