As of 1st June 2022 Finnair accepts live animals (AVI) for transport on European narrow-body aircraft routes. AVI shipments for wide-body flights might be accepted on request. Please note that Finnair carries live animals only on flights to its direct destinations and for animal shipments with final destination in Finland the destination must be Helsinki (HEL). For pricing information please see: Send your shipment section -> Animal transportation -> Instructions - Before the flight.

Before transport

1. Can we use cargo services to ship our dog if we are not flying ourselves?

Yes. Unaccompanied animals are always shipped as cargo. Animals that travel with the owner are considered part of the traveller’s checked baggage. 

Read: taking your pet on board a Finnair flight.

2. We have bought a dog from London. The seller will be shipping the dog to us. Does the seller have to make the booking in the UK or can we buy the tickets in Finland and send them to the seller?

Animals can be transported from the UK either as luggage or cargo, but from Finland to the UK animals can only be transported as cargo. The cargo booking must me made in the departure country and it will also be paid there. The consignee will be responsible for paying the local fees when collecting the animal at the destination airport.

3. Can our dog travel with us in the cabin? If this is possible, how much does it cost?

Animals that travel on the same flight as the owner are considered part of the traveller’s checked baggage, regardless of whether the pet travels in the cabin or in the hold. If the animal travels in the cabin, space for the animal is reserved at the same time as the owner books his/her flight, and the animal is handed over to the airline at the check-in desk.

Read: taking your pet on board a Finnair flight.

For more information on fees, please contact Finnair Customer Care Centre open 24 hours on +358 9 818 0800.

4. I need to ship a puppy that weighs less than 5 kilograms from Helsinki to New York. I want to send the puppy safely to the destination. How should I go about it?

For more information about the required documents and/or vaccinations, please contact the relevant national agricultural authorities (Before the Flight section) or the nearest embassy or consulate of the destination country. 

Once you have obtained the required documents and vaccinations for the animal, please contact any forwarding company to make a cargo booking. The booking can be made no earlier than 20 days before the flight.

5. What is the required minimum age for a puppy to be shipped as cargo?

Finnair does not carry cats or dogs that are younger than 8 weeks of age. However, the import or vaccination regulations in place in other countries may require an older age.

6. Does Finnair Cargo accept wooden containers for shipping? I have one at home.

Yes, it does. Rigid plastic containers are not suitable for shipping animals that weigh over 40 kg. Please note that some countries require that the wood is treated in a certain way. For more information, please contact our local Sales/Reservations.

7. Should the container be of a certain size or is the charge based on weight alone?

The size of animal determines the size of the container. The container must allow the animal to stand and sit with head and ears erect, and not touching the top of the container. The animal must also be able to turn about normally in the container while standing, and to lie in a comfortable, natural position, with paws extended. 

The freight charge is based on the weight of the consignment (including the weight of the container) or so-called volume weight, which is calculated using the outside measurements of the container. The greater weight is used to determine the price. In practice, most animal shipments are priced based on the outside measurements of the container.

For example, a dog and its container weigh 35 kg and the size of the container is 90 x 60 x 72 cm.

The volume weight is calculated by dividing the cubic centimetres of the consignment by 6 000. 6 dm3 = 1 kg and 1 m3 = approximately 167 kg.

90 x 60 x 72 cm divided by 6 000 = 64,8 kg.

The freight charge is always paid at the departure airport. The consignee who collects the animal will pay any terminal-specific charges that apply at the destination airport.

More information about pricing (See Before the flight: Pricing)

8. Can three rabbits travel in one container that has partitions? Are there any requirements regarding the material of the container?

Yes. However, the number of rabbits that can be placed in one container depends on the size of the rabbits, as there must be enough space in the container. The container can be made of, for example, wood, fibreglass or welded metal mesh, as long as it complies with IATA Live Animal Regulations.

9. Can we rent a container from Finnair?

Finnair does not rent, lend or sell animal containers. The shipper is responsible for purchasing a suitable animal container approved for air transport. Finnair Cargo does not accept containers with grating on top/latticed top deck.

10. What is the cost of air transport from Budapest to Helsinki if the total weight is 35 kg and the size of the container is 90 x 60 x 72 cm?

Air freight is always priced at the departure airport. Finnair’s Finnish Contact Centre cannot quote prices for international shipments to Helsinki.

Please contact our local representatives for more information on the costs for shipping animals from those countries.

11. Does Finnair have local partners for transporting animals from a kennel to the airport?

No. The shipper must transport the animals to the airport.

At the airport

12. Once at the terminal with a dog, is it still possible to take the dog outside?

No. Pets must be kept on a leash and under control in the terminal area. They cannot be taken outside in the terminal area.

13. How are animals transported to/from the aeroplane?

We aim to transport the animals to the aeroplane as close to the departure time as possible. Animals are also transported from the aeroplane separately. Depending on the size and weight of the container the animals may be transported inside a vehicle.

During the flight

14. What are the conditions like in the hold? Can someone feed my dog during the flight?

The sizes and types of aeroplane holds vary. Most plane types have thermostat-controlled heating, which keeps the temperature of the hold similar to cabin temperature. It takes about one hour from departure for the temperature of the hold to reach the set temperature. The sound of the engines is somewhat louder in the hold than in the cabin.

Lights are switched off in the hold during the flight and animals usually relax and sleep when it is dark.

Each pet is different, and some dogs and cats are very calm and sleep most of the time during transport. Usually, these animals are experienced travellers, and it is a good idea for the shipper to make sure that the animal is familiar with the container.

The hold cannot be accessed during the flight. The containers are tied/supported so that they cannot move during the flight.

At the destination airport

15. A cat will be shipped to me from Hungary. What documents do I need when collecting the cat at Helsinki Airport?

Contact the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto) before the animal is shipped.

Note: For any animals sent from non-EU countries, the consignee will also be responsible for customs clearance. For more information, please see the Finnish Customs website.

16. Who checks the animal’s documents in the destination country and decides whether they comply with requirements? Who does this in Finland?

Customs or veterinary border control. This does not apply to imports from other EU countries. However, the UK is an exception as the border controls are very strict.

17. Where can I collect my dog at London Heathrow Airport?

First you need to go to Swissport and then to Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC), which is the Live Animal Border Inspection Post (BIP) for Heathrow airport. Imported animals can be collected there.