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.

Due to customer demand, Air New Zealand is now providing a facility once a week to transport live animals from Auckland to Los Angeles and then on to London. From 2 July, Air New Zealand Cargo will transport domestic pets on NZ2 AKL-LAX-LHR flying on Mondays ex Auckland. If you wish to travel on the same flight as your pet, you will need to book to fly on NZ2.

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. We also have a list of companies who arrange shipping pets internationally from New Zealand.

Once you have completed your arrangements, contact our cargo office and together we can find a flight that delivers your pet to his or her new home.

Carriage of Brachycephalic Dogs and Cats on Air New Zealand International Flights

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.

Brachycephalic Breeds

Dogs: British Bulldog, Pug, French Bulldog, Pekingese, Boston Terrier, Japanese Chin

Cats: Himalayans, Persians

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.
These are:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffen
  • Shihtzu
  • Dutch Pug
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Pug
  • English Bull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Burmese Cat (especially American origin)

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.

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

  • Avoid excessive temperatures. Where possible it is recommended that flights be selected that leave/arrive in countries that have high temperatures, in the morning/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 with 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.