Royal Mail announces recommended latest Christmas posting dates for international deliveries

Royal Mail announces recommended latest Christmas posting dates for international deliveries

Key points

  • Royal Mail announces latest Christmas posting dates for International Standard (air) mail, as well as International Tracked and Signature services
  • Royal Mail reminds customers that they should observe the latest international recommended Christmas posting dates if letters and parcels are to arrive in time for Christmas Day
  • Customers should also post early to help Royal Mail manage the bumper festive postbag

Royal Mail announces its latest recommended international posting dates for overseas destinations to arrive in time for Christmas 2018.

The first international recommended posting date is for mail to Africa and the Middle East, which should be sent by Tuesday 4 December.

For those wanting to send cards or gifts to Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East and Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) cards and gifts should be sent no later than Friday 7 December.

For the Caribbean, Central and South America mail should be sent by Saturday 8 December.

Those wishing to send festive greetings to friends and family in Australia, New Zealand, Greece or Turkey will need to make sure everything is good to go by Monday 10 December.

Letters and parcels to Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and the USA can be posted up to Friday 14 December to arrive in time for Christmas.

Festive greetings being sent to Finland and Sweden will need to be in the mail by Saturday 15 December.

Monday 17 December is the latest recommended posting date for Christmas mail going to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland. 

Season’s Greetings going to Belgium, France, Ireland and Luxembourg will need to be posted by Tuesday 18 December.

The last posting dates apply to both standard international services and those which have tracking and signature.

All latest recommended posting dates are detailed in the table below:

Last Posting Date Destinations
Tuesday 4 December Africa, Middle East
Friday 7 December Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East and Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Saturday 8 December The Caribbean, Central and South America
Monday 10 December Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand
Friday 14 December Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, USA
Saturday 15 December Finland, Sweden
Monday 17 December Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
Tuesday 18 December Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg


A History of Overseas Delivery by Air with Royal Mail

The world’s first scheduled service for transporting mail by air took place in the United Kingdom on 9 September 1911 and was called the Aerial Post. It celebrated the coronation of King George V, and saw cards and letters transported by air between Hendon in North London and Windsor in Berkshire. The airplane was flown by British aviation pioneer Gustav Hamel.

The first scheduled airmail service between England and France took place on November 10 1919. A pilot from the airline Aircraft Transport and Travel flew from Hounslow to Paris in an Airco DH4A de Havilland biplane with a Royal Mail pennant proudly attached to its rudder.

The pilots were under some pressure to deliver the mail on time given the several variables that could lead to delays including high winds and inclement weather. With unheated, open cockpits and before the age of radio, pilots would rely on compasses for navigation as well as following landmarks such as railway lines to ensure they were on the right route.



Note to Editors


UK latest recommended posting dates for Christmas 2018 are:

  • Tuesday 18 December for Second Class mail
  • Thursday 20 December for First Class mail
  • Saturday  22 December for Special Delivery

Further information is available at


About Royal Mail plc

Royal Mail plc is the parent company of Royal Mail Group Limited, the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. UK Parcels, International and Letters (“UKPIL”) comprises the company’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the “Royal Mail” and “Parcelforce Worldwide” brands. Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the company delivers a one-price-goes-anywhere service on a range of parcels and letters products. Royal Mail has the capability to deliver to almost 30 million addresses in the UK, six days a week (excluding UK public holidays). Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems (GLS) which operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe.

Media contacts


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Tel: 0207 449 8246


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