On international flights, pets are not permitted as checked in baggage and must travel as Cargo. We will transport live animals on certain flights to certain destinations.

In order to transport live animals you will need to contact an international pet transport company who will arrange the necessary requirements. For Prohibited Pets please refer to information regarding what is Prohibited for Carriage.

A suitable cage for air transportation must be supplied by you and accompanied with necessary documentation. Each destination country has different rules and requirements that need to be considered. Please see our information for Shipment of Domestic Pets on international flights.

Brachycephalic cats and dogs

Certain breeds of dogs and cats have a skull conformation described as brachycephalic. This is due to poor cartilage development of the base of the skull resulting in a snub nose appearance.

Temperature, humidity and stress (noise and movement) during carriage, combined with individual risk factors such as the animal’s temperament, age, and general state of health result in an increased risk for Brachycephalic breeds.

Air New Zealand Cargo will only permit Brachycephalic Breeds to travel on single sector flights of five hours or less of flight time.

Air New Zealand requires an acknowledgement and indemnity form to be completed for the brachycephalic breeds that are accepted for travel on flights of five hours or less. Animals accepted for travel must comply with the IATA Live Animal Regulations.

Brachycephalic breeds (including cross breeds) not accepted for travel are:


Affenpinscher (all breeds), Cane Corso, Chow Chow, Mastiff (all breeds), Boston Terrier, Dogue de Bordeaux, Pekingese, Boxer (all breeds), English Toy Spaniel, Pit Bull, Brussels Griffon, Japanese Chin, Presa Canario, Bulldog (all breeds), Lhasa Apso, Pug (all breeds)



Pet owners need to be aware that some other breeds of dogs and cats, while not fully brachycephalic may also be at some increased risk of developing brachycephalic syndrome during international travel.

There is no way to avoid all the risks associated with international travel in brachycephalic breeds, but they may be reduced by taking additional precautions.

Once accepted for carriage, Air New Zealand should ensure that animals are held in a quiet area whenever possible.

Air New Zealand requires shippers of brachycephalic breeds to ensure that the following standards are met prior to the animal(s) being accepted for carriage:

  • Avoid excessive temperatures, where possible, it is recommended that flights be selected that depart from or arrive in countries that have high temperatures in the morning or evening when the temperature is lower.
  • Use the most direct flights available and avoid transit stops where expected ambient temperatures or humidity differs significantly from the normal conditions the animal has been exposed to.
  • Ensure travel in a cage that is at least larger than normally required with ventilation on all four sides; and for animals eight years of age and older, use a cage at least twice as large
  • Ensure no food is in the cage during the flight; ensure water is provided
  • Acclimatise the animal to the cage by letting it spend time in the cage several days before departure
  • The shipper must have the animal’s individual risk assessed by a veterinarian prior to travel. To be eligible for carriage, Air New Zealand requires that all brachycephalic breeds are accompanied by a letter or certificate from a registered veterinarian that specifies that the animal is fit to travel on a flight or series of flights of the duration that it will take to reach destination.
  • The shipper / owner must complete the acknowledgement and indemnity form


International Pet Transporters

Please choose from one of these international pet transporters for more information.

Aero Pets Auckland Airport

Pet Transport Ltd (formerly Dogtainers Airfreight)

Beaver Road Pet Motel Bombay Auckland

Southern Comfort Kennels Drury Auckland

Pets By Air Greenlane Auckland

Dog Power Henderson Auckland and Christchurch

Air Care Pet Services Auckland Airport

Jetpets Auckland

Croftsway Kennels Ltd Pokeno

Qualified Pet Services Takanini

Petman Whitford

Venture Pet Whitford and Wellington

Donquest Kennels / Kiwipet Transport Christchurch

Katz N K9z Christchurch

Pet Move Christchurch

Glenstar Kennels Ltd Christchurch

Popular Pets Ltd Christchurch

Global Pets Kaiapoi

Longtail Pet Motel Hamilton

Tolly Farm Palmerston North

Dandy Dogs Wellington