The youngest Indian airline company, Akasa Air, has recently announced that it will allow pets to board its flights starting November 1st, 2022. Being the second Indian aircraft carrier after Air India to allow furry pets on board, Akasa Air has placed lesser restrictions on pet travel as compared to Air India.
Backed by late billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Akasa Air will allow flyers to carry their domesticated dogs and cats in cabin and cargo. CEO of Akasa Air Vinay Dube said in a press conference that flight booking for pet lovers will commence from October 15th, and the first flight with furry babies on board will take off on November 1st.
Pet Flying Conditions
CEO Vinay Dube stated that only pets weighing up to 7 kg can be carried in the cabin. Heavier pets of 7-32 kgs need to be checked in at the airport, and even heavier ones weighing 32-100 kgs have to be checked in at the cargo terminal, as they can only fly inside the flight cargo. All three pet categories will come with charges.
Dube displayed himself to be a devoted dog lover while explaining the conditions. He said that crate size of pets weighing up to 32 kgs can fit through the airport counters, whereas heavier pets need to be at the cargo terminal, as “Great Dane, Rottweiler, Mastiff, Greyhound or Irish Wolfhound are too big to go through airport counters. I am a dog person, so I can go on (naming different breeds).”
The growing airline will also allow only two pets aboard each flight, one in the passenger cabin and one in the cargo hold. Pet parents will also need to put a muzzle on their pets. The pet in the cabin will be inside a crate that will be placed in front of the accompanying passenger’s seat.
Air India also permits up to two pets on board, but they cannot weigh heavier than five kgs. Besides the need for muzzles and leashes, other airlines also charge excessive baggage charges for carrying pets.
Air India also requires passengers wishing to import or export pets internationally to comply with regulations and have a pre-import clearance from Animal Quarantine & Certification Service (AQCS). Akasa Air plans to begin international flights in mid-2023.
Effort For Furry Flyers
In an effort to ensure maximum safety and comfort for pet travel, Akasa Air has collaborated with NGO Umeed for Animals Foundation. The aim of this tie-up is to help pet parents and also their pets to prepare in advance for air travel, and also to incorporate industry best practices for carrying animals.
Praveen Iyer, co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Akasa Air, said, “This is phase-1 of our launch, and progressively you will see us enhance our pet policy”. The conditions of pet carriage correspond to the worldwide standard for transporting live animals via commercial flights- Live Animals Regulation, developed by International Air Transport Association.
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