Air Freight Services Impacted by Iran/Israel Conflict

Air Freight Services Impacted by Iran/Israel Conflict
April 18, 2024 Hannah Marshallsay

Airlines in Europe and Asia are rerouting their operations between the two regions due to escalating tensions in the Middle East. This has led to a reduction in Asia-Europe flight options and increased operating costs.

Earlier this week, Iran initiated a series of drone and missile assaults on Israel, citing retaliation for an alleged Israeli strike on its diplomatic facility in Syria on April 1st. The escalating conflict has prompted concerns about potential reprisals and has resulted in the closure of airspace due to fears of a widening regional conflict. The volatile circumstances are expected to drive up air service prices due to prolonged flight durations, rising fuel costs, and uncertainties in flight schedules.

Air Service Schedule Disruption

Iran has imposed airspace restrictions, while other Middle Eastern countries including Iran, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel, temporarily closed their airspaces following the attacks. The escalating tensions compelled airlines to reassess their flight paths to mitigate potential risks linked with traversing conflict zones. The recent closures have necessitated numerous schedule adjustments and rerouting to circumvent the affected airspace, which is heavily utilised by carriers operating flights between Europe and Southeast Asia. 

Challenges to Air Freight Services

There has already been a rise in air freight traffic between Asia and Europe due to the disruption to sea freight industry from the Red Sea crisis. Due to flight rerouting, airlines are facing challenges with capacity, extended transit times, warehouse congestion, and space constraints. Several airlines have halted the acceptance of new cargo until further notice. For example, Malaysian and Singapore Airlines have suspended all UK cargo shipments until the end of April, with no specified date for resumption. 

Market space is anticipated to become increasingly limited in the near future, with the potential for fuel price hikes to further escalate rates. With further complications for airlines resulting from rerouting and extended flying time we expect air freight rates will rise, as well as a rise in insurance costs.

How to Prepare

Please contact us for assistance with monitoring capacity and rates, as they may fluctuate rapidly and be prepared for possible adjustments in transit times.

Should you have any questions or concerns about your shipment, please get in touch with our Air Freight Team on 01753 278020.

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