Cargo Products

Cargo Products

Air India has the capability, resources, and personnel to offer customised cargo solutions to clients from diverse sectors. Our expansive global network and fully equipped operations hubs worldwide allow us to seamlessly take care of the unique requirements of our customers while ensuring that their cargo reaches their destination safely and securely. Use our expertise to see why we should be your only cargo partner of choice.

Baggage as cargo

Unaccompanied or personal baggage shipped as cargo can only include your apparel and movable articles, including musical instruments, typewriters, and sports equipment.

Exclusions

  • Machinery, machine, or spare parts
  • Money
  • Securities
  • Jewellery and watches
  • Plate and plated ware
  • Furs
  • Films and cameras
  • Tickets and documents
  • Liquor and perfumes
  • Articles of household furnishing
  • Merchandise
  • Salesman samples

Live animals

Air India can carry live animals as cargo subject to the conditions and regulations of applicable regulatory authorities.  If you want to use this service, please comply with the current IATA Live Animals Regulations (LAR) and Air India requirements.

Human Remains

Air India can carry two types of human remains:

  • A human body in a coffin
  • Human remains like ash in an urn

To send human remains as cargo on international flights, please make sure you have the following documents:

  • Death certificate
  • Cremation certificate (if as ashes)
  • Embalming certificate (if in a coffin)
  • Police certificate (mandatory if the death is unnatural)
  • Cancelled passport
  • Consular certificate (from the office of the Consular of the nationality of the deceased)

Air India will accept human remains as cargo as per the following conditions laid down by the DGCA:

  • If a coffin has been exhumed and proves to be intact, sound, and free from offensive odour on examination.
  • A certificate from the hospital which has embalmed the dead body must accompany the air waybill.
  • A certificate issued by a local municipal or government authority of the country from where the cargo is imported shall accompany the package. The certificate must have the deceased's full name, age at the time of death, and the place, date, and cause of death. It should also indicate that the package confirms and has been sealed per the specifications prescribed.
  • The package containing the dead body shall not be opened during transit and should be in sound-sealed condition at arrival. It shall not be removed from the premises of an airport until the health officer has permitted its removal in writing. After the officer has granted the permission, the consignee shall remove and dispose of the cargo following the general/special instructions that local authorities may issue.
  • Dead bodies or human remains of persons who may have died of yellow fever, plague, or other diseases specified by the Indian government from time to time, shall not be carried except for properly cremated ashes. However, human remains of persons who died due to HIV, Hepatitis-B, and Hepatitis-C can be carried.
  • Cremated remains must be shipped in funeral urns efficiently cushioned by suitable packing against breakage.
  • Non-cremated remains shall not be loaded in the same hold as pets or other animals.
  • Non-cremated remains shall not be loaded in the same hold as food for human consumption when such food is not packed airtight. 
  • Handling and loading of urns should be done as regular cargo.
  • The pilot-in-command should be informed as per the Special Load Notification.

Valuable cargo

The security measures within warehouses, during aircraft loading/unloading, customs clearance, and ground transportation depend entirely on the local regulations and conditions. All valuable cargo is handled separately from regular air cargo. Air India and its designated staff will ensure special service and protection for your valued items.

Fragile cargo

Air India staff accepting and handling cargo will ensure and verify that fragile cargo is packed appropriately before loading into a Unit Load Device (ULD) or on an aircraft. Every fragile package must be affixed with a 'Fragile' label as specified. When moving it on the ULD, we ensure that fragile cargo is not overstowed by oversized or heavy cargo.

Cold storage

Temperature-sensitive healthcare products are accepted and handled following temperature control regulations (TCR) and other applicable regulations. Cargo which needs to be kept at low temperatures or highly perishable goods will only be allowed minimum storage time before shipment.

Given below is a list of cargo that would need cold storage: 

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Cut flowers and orchids
  • Meat 
  • Vaccine
  • Some chemicals/drugs
  • Other perishable cargo

Outsized or overhang items (heavy cargo)

An item loaded on two or more pallets or which, due to its size or weight, requires special handling/equipment for loading and unloading is categorised as an ‘Overhang item’. The code BIG applies only to loads on pallets, and floating pallets (pallets that occupy more than one pallet position) are to be treated as BIG. We specialise in carrying heavy and odd-sized cargo as we operate wide-body aircraft.

Perishable goods

Perishable cargo will deteriorate over time or if exposed to adverse temperatures, humidity, or other environmental conditions. We take utmost care while accepting perishable cargo for carriage by air. The acceptance is per the IATA PCR checklist (TCR) or equivalent. Additionally, when accepting and handling perishable goods, you must meet the current IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR), the carrier requirement, other applicable regulations, and conditions of relevant regulatory authorities such as the government of origin, transit, and destination etc. If shippers have specific temperature or ground handling requirements, we check and confirm transit and whether we can comply with the request.

Flowers

Flowers are usually wrapped in protective paper and then packed in cardboard boxes or wicker baskets with arrangements in place for smooth handling.

Meat

Meat is packed in waterproof material and handled as wet cargo. Strict hygiene conditions are maintained during all stages of handling meat.

Hatching eggs

Eggs are appropriately packed in strong fibre boards or wooden boxes with honeycombed separation trays to allow the stacking of parcels on top of each other, and arrangements are made for smooth handling.

Fresh fish

Appropriate packing and handling are crucial to delivering perishable goods in good condition. The packing must facilitate the integrity of the goods and the handling/storage of the goods. The packing must be durable enough to withstand temperature changes and stacking. 

Live human organs and vaccines/medical supplies

Live human organs, blood, and lifesaving drugs/vaccines are treated and handled with extreme care and urgency. Short-life radioactive isotopes are handled with extreme urgency and in accordance with the current IATA guidelines.

Diplomatic cargo

The carriage of diplomatic mail is usually done on behalf of the government of India and handled by the Ministry of External Affairs in India and the Indian Embassy, the Consulate or Legation in other countries. However, diplomatic mail is also carried on behalf of other governments and, in all cases, is treated with top priority.

Wet cargo 

Shipments containing liquids, or shipments that may produce liquids and are not subject to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, shall be labelled ‘Wet Cargo’.

Courier bags under air waybills

Air India carries courier bags under an air waybill. The courier terminals at various stations are designated at different locations. And at multiple stations, they are within the cargo warehouse.

International/domestic post office mail

Air India carries postal mail on international and domestic flights with utmost care and priority.

Dangerous goods

Air India Air Operator Permit (AOP) allows us to carry certain dangerous goods as cargo. Also, the acceptance and transportation of such goods are mandatorily governed by the state and operator variations as defined in the current IATA DGR. The handling procedures for carrying dangerous goods are based on the ICAO Annex 18 Technical Instructions, Aircraft Rules 1937, and the latest IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. The same is also applicable to handling such goods in COMAT. All dangerous goods must be packed, meeting the quantity limitations per package. Please note that poor or inadequate packing can cause leakage/pilferage resulting in risk to safety, health, equipment, property, and environment. 

Certain dangerous goods are affected by changes in temperature, humidity, pressure, and vibrations during the flight.  Hence, the shipper is responsible for ensuring that all dangerous goods are properly packed and that the packaging meets the performance standards detailed in the current IATA DG Regulations.

Unit Load Devices (ULDs)

A Unit Load Device is either an aircraft pallet and pallet net combination or an aircraft container. It is a removable aircraft part subjected to strict civil aviation authorities' requirements. Air India owns and uses both types of ULD:

I. Container (AKE type) 

II. Pallets (PAG and PMC type) 

Each ULD must meet minimum technical specifications to ensure the safe restraint of the load. These specifications are published in the IATA Unit Load Device Regulations (ULDR). The build-up of joining load before the arrival of the aircraft, quick transfer of baggage/cargo from one aircraft to another, and greater protection of contents from weather hazards, handling and pilferage are some of its advantages. It also helps improve the logistic and financial control in addition to assisting in advance arrangements in marketing and sales. Air India uses only certified ULDs (AKE, PAG and PMC).

ULD AKE is a certified container with base dimensions of 60.4 in X 61.6 in and a net volume of 4.33 cu metres. These are compatible with the contour of all wide-body aircraft in the fleet of Air India (B 777, B 787 and B 747). It interfaces directly with aircraft loading and restraint systems and meets all restraint requirements without supplementary equipment. Hence it qualifies to be an aircraft part and should be maintained above the airworthiness requirements till it is in operation.

ULD pallet: P1P (88 in X 125 in); P6P (96 in X 125 in), PAG is a certified pallet with base dimensions 88 in X 125 in and is compatible with Air India aircraft's restraint system with a max cargo height of 64". PMC is a certified pallet with base dimensions 96 in X 125 in and is compatible with Air India aircraft's restraint system.