In today's modern world, a carriage of live animals by air is considered the most humane and expedites method of transportation over long distances. Ngoma Pet Courier is our safe and caring service for the airport to airport transportation of animals. We offer pet services for live animals in accordance with IATA's Live Animals Regulations (LAR) which is the worldwide standard for transporting live animals by commercial airlines. Whether it is a pet, an animal transported for zoological or agricultural purposes or for any other reason, the objective is to ensure all animals are transported safely and humanely by air.
When shipping live animals, it is important to book the flights well in advance, and to ensure that you have all the necessary documents in compliance with the regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Each destination country may also have additional regulations and agreements in place. The easiest way to find more detailed country-specific information is to contact the local consulate of the destination country
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All kennels must follow the requirements below:
This kennel is the wrong size for your dog.
This kennel is the correct size for your dog.
The kennel must be constructed of rigid plastic, wood or metal. The roof must be solid with no doors or ventilation openings.
Be adequately ventilated on at least 3 sides with most ventilation being provided on the upper part of the container.
The kennel must be large enough for your pet to freely sit and stand with its head erect, turn around and lie down in a normal position.
Your pet's head or ear tips, whichever is higher, cannot touch the top of the crate. If your pet's kennel does not provide enough room for your pet to stand and sit, without the head touching the top of the container, you will need to purchase a larger kennel before your pet can fly.
The kennel door must be made of metal. Plastic and Fiberglas™ doors, including side plastic latches, are prohibited because they are not strong enough to protect animals during normal handling.
All kennel hardware must be secure and in good working condition. A metal nut and bolt must be secured in each hole that is in place to connect the top and bottom of the kennel. Please note that it’s common for kennels to have nuts and bolts that are metal and covered with a plastic coating on the outside, and those are acceptable.
Be rigid enough to prevent the animal from escaping through gaps at the seams or joints. Snap-sided kennels or kennels with plastic side latches will not be accepted, unless you have drilled additional holes and added metal nuts and bolts to secure the kennel.
Kennels using twist locks to secure the top and bottom halves of the kennel will not be accepted.
Two dishes (one for food and one for water) must be attached to the inside of the kennel but also be accessible from the outside of the kennel so they can be filled from outside the kennel without opening the door.li>
The door must close securely. In accordance IATA’s Live Animals Regulations (LAR), animals must be accessible in the event of an emergency.
The floor must be solid and leak-proof and contain absorbent material, such as shredded black-and-white printed newspaper.
Each kennel should contain no more than one adult dog or cat, or no more than two puppies or kittens younger than six months, of comparable size, and weighing less than 20 pounds (9 kg) each
A single kennel cannot contain both dogs and cats (or puppies and kittens).
Items prohibited in kennels:
Medication, including over-the-counter or prescription
Thick blankets, bedding or similar items
Straw, hay or wood shavings are prohibited for international travel
Kennels with door openings on top
Kennels made entirely of cardboard, mesh (welded or wire), wicker or collapsible materials
Snap-sided kennels, kennels with plastic side latches or kennels with twist locks that are not secured by metal nuts.
Standard kennels types
The kennel types below are accepted on most aircrafts and are available for purchase at some of our cargo facilities.
Kennel size (in.)
Estimated kennel weight (lb.)
Aircraft type acceptance
21 L x 16 W x 15 H
27 L x 20 W x 19 H
32 L x 22 W x 23 H
How to measure your pet
Kennel sizing chart for dogs and cats
A = Length of animal from nose to root of tail B = Height from ground to elbow joint C = Width across shoulders D = Height of animal in a natural standing position from the top of the head or the ear tip, whichever is higher. Note: your pet's head or ear tips, whichever is higher, must not touch the top of the crate.
How to determine kennel size
Length = A + B
Width = C + 1" (3 cm) x 2 Height = D + 3" (7 cm)
Acclimating your pet to its kennel
One of the most important steps you can take to ease the stress of travel for your pet is to make sure it becomes familiar with its kennel. Purchase the kennel as far in advance as possible. Veterinarians recommend leaving the kennel door open in the house with treats or a familiar object inside so that your pet may spend time near the kennel and perhaps venture inside on its own. Since it is important that your pet is as relaxed as possible during the flight, familiarization with the kennel is essential.
The shipper is required to provide the following documents.
Import and Export Permits.
Citis for endangered species
Valid Health Certificate
Vaccination Certificate which must be attached to the air waybill (AWB). If the passenger is not in possession of these documents, transportation of the pet shall be refused.
Shipper’s Certificate for carriage of AVI (provided to you during acceptance.
Label with your name, address and phone number at origin and destination cities. It is also a good idea to include your pet's name. Airport regulations require that each kennel is labeled to safeguard your pet. When you drop off your pet, Ngoma Pet Courier will provide the required labels to adhere to the kennel. The labels include:
The words "LIVE ANIMAL" will be adhered to the top and at least two side of the kennel
Orientation labels that indicate the top of the kennel with arrows or "This End Up" markings will be adhered to on at least two sides of the kennel.
Airway bill stickers will be adhered to the top and at least two side of the kennel
Sample label that you can acquire from United at the time you tender your animal:
IATA Standard requirements:
Ensure you make your booking as early as possible. At the very latest, 3days before scheduled time of flight departure.
We encourage you to bring in the pet/s 3days before flight departure if you can for documentation and pre-checks. This offers you ample time from last minute hassling.
Also include feeding and watering instructions in writing at the time of acceptance. Feeding and watering instructions must be affixed to the container and a copy of the instruction must accompany the shipping documents. Do not forget to provide some food for the animal, though it must be checked to ensure that it does not contravene any regulations of the country(ies) of transit or importation.
To prepare your pet for take-off, we would advice that you ensure it has had a long walk before hand and the right food. Ideally, it should have its last meal 6-8 hours before take-off and only drink small amounts of water. Consult your vet for more information.
Tranquilization is NOT advisable for animals being shipped by air as it can cause drop in blood pressure which can be fatal at the altitude of flight pressurization (8000ft). However, it can be allowed if the pet is accompanied by a Vet on board the aircraft. Please consult your vet.
Most animals can be transported by air; however our only limitation is the size of the aircraft cargo hold door. This is what determines the maximum size of the animal’s container that we can accept. The size is different for wide-body aircraft and narrow body aircraft.
Ngoma Pet Courier does not accept pets in the cabin, except for guide dogs. Passengers who have pets that they would like to travel with have to transport them as cargo through the cargo terminal, and not at the airport check-in desk.
Different countries in our network have different restrictions for animals on transit and those being imported, for further information on these restrictions please contact our office
* Conditions apply. Please contact our area office for further information.
*The instructions on these pages apply to transporting pets, such as dogs and cats. For other animals contact our office for more information
Benefits of Ngoma Pet Courier
Our service is more than just an animal transportation service because we offer you the following:
Secure space and confirm bookings from our partner carriers on your behalf.
Negotiate fair freight rates on your behalf to the various destinations of your choice.
Continuous care for the animal before and after acceptance by specially trained staff to ensure transportation of our ferry friend in optimum conditions of safety, comfort and hygiene.
We transport live animals and both accompanied and unaccompanied pets.
Secure Late Cut-off times for acceptance i.e. 3hours before scheduled time of departure.
Ensure our ferry friends get high up-lift priority onto the flight if booking is confirmed.
Dedicated sales and customer service team to attend to your queries.
Information about the movement of your animal shipment will be available to you via our track and trace system that is on our website after flight departure