Cargo Services

Have a question regarding your upcoming trip with Air India or its services and products? Find answers to all your queries and make your flying experience with us enjoyable. 

Cargo

We carry cargo shipments on domestic and international flights.

You can send any item that doesn't require specialised stowage and does not come under the classification of a restricted or perishable item or dangerous goods as general cargo. It includes boxes, suitcases, extra baggage, bales, packages and small furniture items, among others.

Items of personal use or household goods which do not contain prohibited or restricted articles are allowed as general cargo.

Please get in touch with our cargo booking office or refer here for more information.

The above items require proper documentation and special packaging to be authorised by a shipping or freight forwarding agent. 

We provide an airport-to-airport service for general cargo. 

Consignments are accepted for air transportation by Air India in the following ways -  

  • directly from the shippers  
  • through cargo agents 
  • through interline partners, only if the cargo is in 'ready for carriage' condition. 

The carrier or its duly authorised agent for and on behalf of the shipper or consignee may, but shall not be obligated to, comply with the formalities required by customs and other government authorities. They may, but are not obligated to, advance any duties, taxes and other charges and make any disbursements. The shipper, consignee and owner of the goods shall be jointly and severally liable to the carrier for the reimbursement of any payments made. A copy of the Air Waybill certified by the carrier shall be deemed as the original copy for any such purpose. 

The shipper is obligated to comply with all customs regulations and other government regulations of any country flown from, to, or over relating to the packing, carriage, and delivery of goods, including the furnishing of such information and documents as may be necessary to meet such requirements; however, the carrier is under no obligation to inquire into the correctness or sufficiency of required information, documents or marking.

  • Unaccompanied baggage as cargo 
  • Live animals (AVI) 
  • Human remains (HUM) 
  • Valuable cargo (VAL) 
  • Express cargo 
  • Fragile items
  • Time and temperature-sensitive shipment (TCR) 
  • Outsized (BIG) 
  • Perishables (PER/PEF/PEM/etc) 
  • Flowers (PEF) 
  • Meat (PEM) 
  • Hatching eggs (HEG) 
  • Fresh fish (PES) 
  • Live Human Organs (LHO) and vaccines/medical supplies 
  • Diplomatic cargo (DIP) 
  • Wet cargo (frozen fish/fish seed/live mud crabs/blood clams, etc.) 
  • Courier bags 
  • International/domestic post office mail 
  • Dangerous goods 

We do not have freighter operations, but we utilise passenger aircraft for uplifting cargo.

The rate structure is quite dynamic and aligned with market conditions.
The rate structure can be:

  • prepaid – charges are collected in advance from the shipper 
  • Charges Collect – charges are collected from the consignee at the destination 

Note- You can get the details from the nearest Air India cargo office and the booking portal available to authorised Agents/GSA's. 

Commodities from a particular point of origin to a specified destination have specific commodity rates. Contact our cargo booking office or our sales team for more details. 

For the domestic sector:
The cut-off time for acceptance of domestic cargo is three hours before the flight's departure, subject to booking confirmation. However, to avoid congestion at terminals, tendering shipments early is a good practice. 

For the international sector:
The cut-off time for acceptance of international cargo is four hours before the flight's departure after completing all the formalities of customs, subject to confirmed booking. However, to avoid congestion at terminals, tendering the cargo early is recommended.

Yes, it can be carried as cargo on Air India's domestic and international flights.

Prior intimation is necessary if you are carrying any of the following items: 

  • Shipments of unusual shapes and sizes 
  • Human remains 
  • Perishables 
  • Valuable cargo 
  • Livestock 
  • Dangerous Goods 
  • Any other shipment requiring special handling/care. 

Yes, you can book your shipments on a 'To-Pay' basis wherein the consignee can make the due payments to Air India at the time of delivery. However, the following shipments will not be accepted under the 'To-Pay' basis: 

  • Perishables 
  • Newspapers 
  • Human remains 
  • Unaccompanied baggage/personal effects 
  • Where the resale value of the goods would be less than the total amount to be collected 
  • Livestock 
  • Restriction as per country/carrier regulations of the destination

There are certain types of cargo which are not acceptable for carriage by air. They are: 

  • goods liable to endanger the aircraft, persons, or property 
  • goods prohibited by law/regulations of the country of origin/destination/transit/overflown

Contact our cargo booking office for more information.  

The shipper is responsible for ensuring that the cargo is packed appropriately for carriage and safely carried while handling. It is to check that the cargo does not injure or damage any persons, goods, or property. Mark each package legibly and durably with the name and full address of the shipper and consignee. Individual packages of each consignment must display the same consignee's name, street and city address as on the Air Waybill (AWB), or this information must be shown on one or more packages with an appropriate reference on all other packages in the consignment. The cargo must be in the 'Ready for Carriage' state for the shipment to be accepted.

We will be more than happy to welcome you as our business partner. You can submit a query by clicking here

You can book the valuables in courier. Please get in touch with your freight forwarders for more details. 

Track your shipment online through our website www.airindia.com. Please click here to track your shipment. 

Please click here to get more details and raise a claim online. 

There is no access to the cargo hold during the flight. 

It depends on the country of destination. Please get in touch with your forwarder or embassy regarding possible restrictions.  

Refer to 'IATA Live Animals Regulations’ (LAR) for information.  

Cremated human remains can be shipped as funeral urns only. You will require a cremation certificate from the crematorium. 

Yes. Human remains can be carried in both domestic and international sectors based on the following requisite documents: 

For domestic sectors: 

  • Death certificate 
  • Cremation certificate (If as ashes) 
  • Embalming certificate (If in a coffin) 
  • Police certificate is mandatory for both natural and unnatural death

The following additional documents are required for the carriage of human remains if the transportation is on international flights of Air India: 

  • Cancelled passport 
  • Consular certificate (from the office of the Consular of the nationality of the deceased)
  • For further information, you may contact the nearest Air India cargo office.

Yes, Air India allows you to carry pet dogs/cats as cargo, within India. The acceptance and handling of live animals shall be in accordance with the requirements of the current IATA Live Animals Regulations. The carrier shall accept animal shipments for which there is a confirmation for space and advance arrangements. 

Only those animals which appear to be in good health shall be allowed on flights. 

A health/quarantine certificate from a practising veterinary doctor is also required. For further details, contact the nearest Air India cargo office.  

As Air India operates passenger aircraft, it accepts live animals which do not require any special attention during the flight. You must follow certain other restrictions. It should be well under the dimensions of the cargo hold to make sure that the cage fits. For detailed information, please get in touch with your nearest Air India sales office.  

Air India cargo works with forwarders specialised in transporting live animals. These freight forwarders comply with all the requirements as depicted in the current edition of IATA Live Animals Regulations. Please contact your freight forwarders for more details. 

The passenger aircraft operates all our flights. Your animals will be kept in the cargo compartment, which is heated and ventilated adequately (restrictions may apply depending on the aircraft type and the requested routing). 

Contact the veterinary doctor and provide all the details like flight routing, time of flight, conditions and climate at the destination. Tranquilising can be fatal for animals during the flight.

Documentation varies from country to country of destination and the State of transit. Additional or specific vaccinations may also be required in addition to certifications. Contact your freight forwarders for more details. 

Refer to the current edition of IATA Live Animals Regulation for specific instructions. 

We carry it in all our aircraft and both in passive temperature control mechanism (wherein the shipper is required to put adequate refrigerant for the entire journey) and in active temperature control mechanism (using cool containers). 

Pharmaceutical products are substances intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. These products' primary intended use is achieved through chemical or biological action or by being metabolised. Pharmaceutical products can be further subdivided into different categories: 

  • Drug products 
  • Biological products 
  • Vaccines 
  • Blood and blood products 
  • Allergenic products 
  • Human tissues 
  • Medical devices 
  • Homeopathic remedies 
  • Herbal products 

  • Declare all details relevant to the shipment based on the requirements at origin, transit and destination and as may be required by the operator and other competent authorities
  • Establishing and providing any 'agreed to' details in writing before the booking, such as special handling needs or conditions or environment that may affect the cargo
  • Obtaining any permit or certificate in advance regarding import, export, and transit as applicable
  • Tendering for shipment of cargoes that have been inspected and packed in such a fashion to maintain packaging integrity and safety of personnel under normal transport or handling conditions
  • Packaging, marking, and labelling each package as per the requirement
  • Establishing and providing a primary contact who is responsible for the shipment during the entire journey and who can be reached by all parties at any given time or location or information 

Temperature range

SHC code

Code description

+15°C to +25°C 

CRT

Controlled room temperature

+2°C to +8°C

COL 

Refrigerated

+2°C to +25°C

ERT

Extended room temperature 

Controlled room temperature encompasses the usual and customary working environment of +20°C to +25°C, resulting in a mean kinetic (run) temperature calculated to be not more than +25°C. This allows for divergence up to +30°C.   

The quantity of coolant is calculated based on the time starting from the initial point of insertion (mostly the hub) till it reaches the consignee's hub (where coolant can be replaced). A change in temperature should also be taken into account. Get in touch with the local cargo office to find out whether the option for cold storage is available. 

  • All packages must be legibly marked with the name, address and contact number of the shipper and consignee 
  • Old markings must be obliterated
  • An emergency number is to be mentioned on each package
  • Labels must not be affixed over the markings

All cargo packages must be labelled with specific 'Time and Temperature-sensitive' label as shown below. The lower half of the label must not be left blank and must indicate the external transportation temperature range of the shipment. At least two labels must be affixed on the alternate side of each package. 

Girl in a jacket

AI accepts pharma in cool containers. We have partnered with Envirotainer for the purpose. Contact the cargo office for more details. 

  • Containers need to be booked with Envirotainer at least five calendar days before the requirement.  
  • Bookings made within five days can be placed but are subject to additional surcharges and container availability.   
  • The minimum lease period available is four calendar days. Details about the rates for additional days and cancellation charges will be supplied during the reservation process.  

Note: 

The customer agrees that any seal on the container control unit may need to be broken for battery replacement (for T-type containers only). 

'Dangerous goods' are articles or substances that can pose a risk to health, safety, property or the environment and which are listed in the technical instructions, or which are classified according to the same guidelines. 

Transportation of Dangerous Goods (DG) (general cargo, stores/company material COMAT, and others) by air is subject to regulatory compliance, viz., DGCA, AERB as applicable. The regulations for the transportation of all dangerous goods except radioactive materials are based on the recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods - Model Regulations by the UN Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN-SCOETDG). In addition, the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must determine the regulations for radioactive material.  

Air India Air Operator Permit (AOP) permits Air India to carry the ones categorised as Dangerous Goods. Also, the acceptance and transportation of DG is governed by the State and Operator Variations as defined in the current IATA DGR (Ref. 2.8), which should be referred to mandatorily. For ready reference, the variations of AI as an operator are stipulated in para 11.2 of the Dangerous Goods Management (DGM) for acceptance of Dangerous Goods. The handling procedures for the carriage of DG detailed hereunder are based on the ICAO Annex 18 Technical Instructions, Aircraft Rules 1937 and the latest IATA Dangerous Goods regulations. 

AI-01: Explosives shall not be carried with the exceptions of items covered under UN 0012 and UN 0014, subject to approval from the Director General of Civil Aviation. 

AI-02 Class 3: Flammable liquids in Packing Group I, are unacceptable for carriage. 

AI-03 Division 4.3: Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases are not accepted for carriage. 

AI-04: Dangerous goods must not be consolidated with non-dangerous goods.

AI-05: Carriage of carbon dioxide solid (dry ice) per aircraft shall be limited to the following:  

1,500 kg on A330-200.

1,200 kg on B747-400 / B777-300ER / B777-200LR.

500 kg on B787-800 / A310 / A350

200 kg on A319 / A320 / A321 / B737-800.

AI-06: A 24-hour emergency telephone number must be provided in the “Handling Information” box of the Shipper’s Declaration and Air Waybill. 

AI-07: Fissile material shall not be accepted for carriage.

AI-08: Not used. 

AI-09: Small vehicles powered by lithium batteries are prohibited for carriage on Air India flights as a part of passenger’s baggage (checked and carry-on); examples include air wheel, solo wheel, hoverboard, mini-segway, and balance wheel. However, it is not limited to these items alone.

Except for the restrictions mentioned in the AI operator variation, all classes/divisions of dangerous goods are accepted for carriage, provided they are listed in Table 4.2 of the IATA DGR. Please contact the local cargo office for further details. 

Consumable and non-consumable goods with limited shelf life are susceptible to loss and spoilage if not preserved under appropriate conditions. It might lose its inherent properties or essential quality components, due to which it can no longer be used as originally intended. 

  • Fruits and vegetables 
  • Fresh (cut) vegetables, cut fruits, herbs and prepared salads 
  • Spices and dried herbs 
  • Flowers, tropical flowers, and potted plants 
  • Meat and meat products 
  • Seafood and freshwater products 
  • Eggs 
  • Hatching eggs 
  • Baked goods and confectionery 
  • Cosmetic products 
  • Pharmaceuticals 
  • Frozen food 

  • Fruits and vegetables are packed with general fibreboard boxes (one layer box/bulk boxes with separators/telescopic boxes/punnets and clamshells).
  • Fresh-cut vegetables, cut fruits, herbs and prepared salads are packed with plastic pouches and MAP/plastic cups/bulk boxes.
  • Spices and herbs are packed in sealed bags.
  • Flowers, tropical flowers and potted plants are packed in one–piece or two–piece boxes (either horizontally or vertically).
  • Meat, meat products and seafood are packed in expanded polystyrene or fibreboard box.
  • Seafood is generally packed in boxes made of expanded polystyrene/corrugated fibreboard/ PE–coated or wax-impregnated absorbent material.
  • Eggs (including hatching eggs) are packed in foam stipple packing and egg containers inside the fibreboard box. The box is tied using a reinforced strapping tape and equipped with a paper handhold protector.
  • Frozen products are usually shipped in fibreboard boxes in insulated, refrigerated or active temperature-controlled ULDs (Unit Load Device).

Generally, one of the below refrigerants is used for the transportation of perishables: 

  • Wet ice (in the form of ice crush/cubes/plates) 
  • Gel ice (also known as “plastic ice”) in packs 
  • Dry ice 
  • Dry shipper 

We carry all types of perishables.