Baggage as cargo
Unaccompanied or personal baggage shipped as cargo can only include your apparel and portable articles including musical instruments, typewriters, and sports equipment.
- Machinery, machine or spare parts
- Plate and plated ware
- Articles of household furnishing
- Salesman samples.
Air India can carry live animals as cargo subject to the conditions and regulations laid down by the applicable regulatory authority. If you want to use this service, please make sure you comply with the current IATA Live Animals Regulations (LAR) and Air India requirements.
Air India can carry two types of human remains:
- 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 coffin)
- Police certificate (a must 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 on examination to be intact, sound, and free from offensive odour.
- 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 full name of the deceased, their age at the time of death, and the place, date, and cause of death. It should also indicate that the package confirms to and has been sealed in accordance with the specifications prescribed.
- The package containing the dead body shall not be opened during its transit and shall be in sound sealed condition at the time of 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 accorded the permission, the consignee shall remove and dispose of the cargo in accordance with the general/special instructions which may be issued by local authorities.
- Dead body 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 HIV, Hepatitis-B, and Hepatitis-C can be carried.
- Cremated remains must be shipped in funeral urns which are 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 hermetically.
- Handling and loading of urns should be done as normal cargo.
- The pilot-in-command should be informed as per the Special Load Notification.
The security measures that apply 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.
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 ‘Fragile’ label as specified. We ensure that fragile cargo is not over stowed by oversized or heavy cargo when moving it on the ULD.
Temperature-sensitive healthcare products are accepted and handled in accordance with 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, prior to shipment.
Here is a list of cargo that would need cold storage:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Cut flowers and orchids
- Some chemicals/drugs
- Other perishable cargo for which requests are made.
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 is applicable only to loads on pallets and floating pallets (pallets that occupy more than one pallet position) are to be treated as BIG. We possess expertise in carrying heavy and odd-sized cargo as we operate wide-body aircrafts.
Perishable cargo are goods which will deteriorate over a long period 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 as per IATA PCR check list (TCR), or equivalent. Additionally, when accepting and handling perishable goods, you need to meet the current IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR), the carrier requirement, other applicable regulations, and requirements of applicable regulatory authorities such as government of origin, transit and destination etc. If shippers have specific temperature or ground handling requirements, we check and confirm transit, we can comply with the request or not.
Flowers are usually wrapped in protective paper and then packed in cardboard boxes or wicker baskets with arrangements in place for smooth handling.
Meat is packed in waterproof material and handled as wet cargo. Strict hygiene conditions are maintained during all stages of handling meat.
Eggs are properly packed in strong fibre boards or wooden boxes with honeycombed separation trays to allow stacking of parcels on top of each other and arrangements are made for smooth handling.
Appropriate packing and handling are crucial to perishable goods being delivered in good condition. The packing must facilitate the integrity of the goods as well as 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.
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.
Shipments containing liquids, or shipments which may produce liquids, and which are not subject to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, shall be labelled as ‘Wet Cargo’.
Courier bags under air waybills
Air India carries courier bags under an air waybill. The courier terminal at various stations is designated at different locations and at various 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.
Air India Air Operator Permit (AOP) allows Air India to carry certain dangerous goods as cargo. Also, the acceptance and transportation of such goods is 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 latest IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. The same is also applicable for handling such goods in COMAT. All dangerous goods must be packed meeting the quantity limitations per package. Please note that poor or in adequate 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 it is the shipper’s responsibility to ensure that all dangerous goods are properly packed, and the packaging meet the performance standards detailed in the current IATA DG Regulations.
Preparation of cargo for carriage
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 and hence subjected to strict civil aviation authorities‟ requirement. Air India owns and uses both the types of ULD i.e., I. Container (AKE type) II. Pallets (PAG and PMC type) Each ULD must meet minimum technical specifications to ensure safe restraint of the load. These specifications are published in the IATA Unit Load Device Regulations (ULDR). Build-up of joining load before the arrival of the aircraft, quick transfer of Baggage/Cargo from one aircraft to other, greater protection of contents from hazards of weather, handling and pilferage are some of its advantages. It also helps improving the logistic and financial control in addition to helping in advance arrangement in Marketing and Sales. Air India uses only Certified ULDs (AKE, PAG and PMC).
ULD Container AKE is a certified container with base dimensions 60.4 X 61.6 inches and a net volume of 4.33 cu. metres. These are compatible to the contour of all wide body aircrafts 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 the use of supplementary equipment. Hence it qualifies to be an aircraft part and should be maintained above the air worthiness 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 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.