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Live Cargo

Live Animals

First Air puts your animal’s safety and comfort first.  If you are not traveling with your animal, please follow the below requirements to ensure your pet’s travel experience is stress-free.


  • Arrangements must be made with First Air at least 24 hours in advance by the shipper.
  • All shipments of live animals must be prepaid.
  • Approximate weight and dimensions of kennel must be provided by the shipper at time of booking.


  • First Air will not accept animals that emit offensive odours, are hostile or in an agitated state at the time of tender.
  • Cats or dogs under 8 weeks old will not be accepted.
  • Live animals will not be accepted on a collect basis.
  • Some extra large kennels will not be accepted due to aircraft size, type and availability.
  • Animals will not be accepted more than 4 hours prior to the flights departure
  • Live animals will not be transferred onto another airline and arrangements must be made with the other carrier.


  • Kennels must be certified pet carriers free of defects, leak-proof and must provide adequate ventilation for the animal.
  • Kennels must be large enough for your pet to stand, to turn around completely and to lie down.
  • Metal wire cages will not be accepted for carriage
  • It is recommended to label the kennel with the animal’s name and a spill proof container (such as a hamster water dispenser) be fastened to the kennel for water
  • Only one animal is permitted per kennel.

Other Tips

  • Feed the animal only a light meal and drink two hours before scheduled departure.
  • Exercise the animal immediately before leaving your premises.
  • Shipment of females in heat (oestrus) is not advised.
  • Females with unweaned litter will not be accepted.
  • Weaned puppies younger than eight weeks should not be transported due to possible dehydration during the flight.

Overnight kennel service fees may be required during transport in the event of severe weather or conditions beyond First Air’s control (including, but not limited to acts of god, force majeure, labour disturbances, civil commotions, wars or hostilities).  These fees will be applied to the cartage and collected upon arrival at the animal intended destination.

For further information or for bookings please contact Cargo Reservations at 1-800-568-7497.

First Air will not be responsible in the event of loss, delay, injury, sickness or death of any pet or animal accepted for transportation.

Live Seafood

In order to ensure the safe and unspoiled arrival of your live seafood, First Air enforces the following shipping requirements:

  • Packaging must consist of inner layer puncture resistant and leak proof liner
  • “Live Seafood – Cooler” must be clearly written on the box in indelible ink
  • Must be encased in a sealed sturdy Styrofoam box designed for shipping live seafood.
  • Must be packaged to maintain optimum internal temperature when exposed to high and low external temperatures during loading and unloading procedures.
  • Must be shipped at the “Priority Rate”  to ensure timely movement (within 24 hours south to north, and 48-72 hours for far north destinations)
  • Shipments cannot exceed 29 kg to ensure boarding priority. Any shipments weighing more will be at risk for delays and spoiling.

If the packaging and labeling requirements are not in place, the shipment will be refused at time of tender.

Oversized Cargo

Please contact your local cargo facility to obtain rates, handling restrictions, and optimum shipping options.


  • Any shipment with a known value of over $1000 (Canadian or U.S. dollars) per kilogram is considered a valuable shipment, regardless of the commodity.
  • Gems, Gold, Artwork, Silver, Pearls, Furs/pelts, Jewellery, Narcotics and controlled drugs, and Tobacco are considered valuable items.
  • These high value shipments should require a packing slip identifying contents and value.