To check whether your animal is fit to fly, please review the information listed on this page, which includes important information on booking options, restricted breeds, brachycephalic travel restrictions, container requirements and lodgement processes

Bookings

Pet and animal travel can be arranged via the listed Commercial Pet Transport Company below. Many of the providers offer varying levels of service which can include:

  • Animal container hire (also known as crate hire).
  • Door-to-door collection and drop-off.
  • Kennelling services.
  • Assistance with animal comfort stops.

Bookings for pet and animal travel must meet the following conditions:

  • The domesticated animal must be presented in a container compliant with Virgin Australia and IATA requirements.
  • After lodgement, the shipper (or owner) is contactable and available to attend the respective cargo facility for the animal’s welfare (on request).
  • The animal is not a brachycephalic breed (refer to the relevant section below).
  • Compliance with Virgin Australia Cargo’s Conditions of Carriage, as well as the information contained on this page.
Pets in cabin

Restrictions

Our booking policies, designed to cater to specific pet breeds, allows for a seamless journey for all passengers. Your beloved furry companion's well-being is our top priority, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable experience for all our passengers. For details on these restrictions, please read below.

Important information

Pet transport companies

Our Partnered Transport Companies

Pre departure process

Prior to lodging your animal at one of our cargo facilities please ensure you have completed our pre-flight checklist:

  • For domesticated animals (i.e. dogs, cats, domesticated birds, etc), a copy of the Domesticated Animal Acceptance Declaration must be completed and presented at the time of lodgement (if your animal is being delivered by an animal transport specialist, they may complete this form on your behalf).
  • For non-domesticated animals (account customers only), a copy of the Exotic Animal Movement Request form must be submitted and accepted by the Cargo Control Centre prior to travel.  Requests must be submitted to cargocontrolcentre@virginaustralia.com. A copy of the IATA Live Animal Acceptance Checklist will also need to be completed and presented at the time of lodgement.
  • Reviewed and complied with the booking and pre-departure requirements.
  • Crosschecked the location of the departure cargo facility, as well as the latest animal (AVI) acceptance time (this is generally 90 minutes prior to departure at most locations).
  • Have a copy of your Air Waybill number and photo ID ready to present on arrival at the departure cargo facility.  The Air Waybill number will be provided to you by your Commercial Pet Transport Company or Virgin Australia Cargo at the time of booking.

 

Pre departure requirements

Please note that you will be required to present a veterinary certificate to Virgin Australia Cargo when dropping off your animal at the cargo shed, if one of the following conditions apply (certificate must be issued within 14 days of travel):

  • Animal is pregnant
  • Animal is sick or injured
  • Between 8 and 12 weeks of age (applicable to dogs and cats only)
  • Older than 12 years of age (applicable to dogs and cats only)

While we do not require veterinary certificates for animal sedations, Virgin Australia does not recommend sedating your animal for travel. If you wish to sedate your animal for travel, you should contact your vet for expert advice. Virgin Australia does not take responsibility for any consequences as a result of sedation.

If your animal is jetting off interstate to Tasmania or Western Australia, you will need to comply with the respective biosecurity and worming regulations linked below.  This includes animals transiting on connecting flights via airports located in these states.  Please ensure you securely attach any required paperwork or evidence to the top of the animal container, prior to lodging your animal (clear tape is recommended).

Tasmania: https://nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/biosecurity/importing-animals/animals-that-can-be-imported-with-entry-requirements

Western Australia: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/importing-animals/importing-pets-western-australia-including-cats-dog-reptiles-frogs-insects

The size of your animal’s container is very important for their welfare.  It is your responsibility to provide a container for your animal’s travel which complies with the standard required by Virgin Australia and the IATA LARs.  If your animal does not have a travel container which meets our requirements or is not the right size, we may refuse to accept your animal for transport.

If you have booked directly with Virgin Australia Cargo and require assistance, please contact a Commercial Pet Transport Company.

If you are securing your own container, we recommend sizing up your animal in accordance with the instructions on the IATA regulations website.

  • Your pet must be able to stand with their head up unrestricted by the container
  • Your pet must be able to turn around freely within the container
  • Your pet must not exceed the maximum rated animal weight for the container (if supplied).

Additionally for four legged animals, the container must:

  • Have adequate ventilation
  • Have a water bowl or receptacle affixed to the container
  • Have escape proof hinges and latches and be adequately locked
  • Be in good repair and strong enough to withstand damage and ensure the pet cannot escape
  • Be made of wood or a polypropylene material^ (wire containers are no accepted)
  • Be lined with absorbent material and designed so that no water or excreta can escape
  • Not have any wheels attached
  • Not be designed to collapse
  • Two-part rigid plastic containers must have the top and bottom (or side) parts secured by screws or nuts and bolts (not plastic clips)
  • Be compliant with the fleet compatibility section below

^Note: Powerful and strong animals which can break through plastic are required to travel in a metal or wooden container as set out in the IATA regulations (i.e. CR-82 crate).

For the transportation of birds, the container must meet the IATA LAR regulations for the specific species and comply with the following:

  • Front of the container must be covered in welded wire mesh and sloped to provide extra ventilation (must comprise 75% of frontal area)
  • Interior of the container has no sharp edges
  • Wooden perches provided for all perching species
  • For small birds, a float, sponge or similar material is in the water tray (if filled with water)
  • Not have any wheels attached
  • Not be designed to collapse.

Fleet compatibility

Whilst most Virgin Australia services are operated by our Boeing 737 fleet, it’s important to check your animal container is compatible with the booked aircraft type.  Please note that the measurements below are provided as a guide only (exact dimensions may vary).

Airbus A320

The uplift of animals is not supported on this aircraft type.

Boeing 737

Maximum container dimensions: 85 cm (H) x 80 cm (W) x 131 cm (L)

Maximum Pets Pantry size: PP90

Embraer 190

Maximum container dimensions: 80 cm (H) x 70 cm (W) x 110 cm (L)

Maximum Pets Pantry size: PP70

Fokker 100 (flights to/from Perth)

Maximum container dimensions: 65 cm (H) x 70 cm (W) x 110 cm (L)

Maximum Pets Pantry size: PP50

Fokker 70 / Fokker 100 (flights to/from Brisbane)

Maximum container dimensions: 65 cm (H) x 56 cm (W) x 82 cm (L)

Maximum Pets Pantry size: PP50

Saab 340

 

The uplift of animals is not supported on this aircraft type.

Finally at the time of lodgement, please ensure you comply with the following requirements.

Item Inside the cage Attached to the outside of the cage Note
Toys      
Collars      
Leads    

Must be zip-tied to the outside.

Food    

Rabbits / Guinea-pigs: Disinfected or sterilised pellets, or extruded dry rodent food is permitted inside the cage.

Birds: Food meeting the destination’s bio-security requirements is permitted.

Document(s)    

Must be taped to the outside.

Animal jackets    

Greyhound Dogs: Permitted to wear compression suits.

Absorbent materials    

Minimal absorbent material permitted.

With the right preparation, travelling with your pet can be a great experience for all concerned - but it is important to be well prepared.

Watch our video for some handy hints to get your pet ready for their flight.

Next steps

Refusal of carriage

In accordance with the Cargo Conditions of Carriage, Virgin Australia reserves the right to refuse the carriage of your animal. This can include, albeit not limited to:

  • Airline operational requirements
  • Animals displaying aggression and visible signs of cage chewing
  • Non-compliance with VA travel requirements
  • Container compliance with VA requirements and IATA regulations
  • Incomplete paperwork
  • Incorrect information provided at the time of booking
  • Non-compliance with directions provided by Virgin Australia Cargo staff and contractors
  • Safety and security reasons

Enroute tracking

If you would like to check the status of your animal’s transportation, please enter your Air Waybill (AWB) number into the tracking section on the VAC Portal.

If you are an existing VAC account holder, you can also subscribe to cargo movement messages for your specific Air Waybill though the Portal.

View the latest Virgin Australia flight status information.

On arrival

Animal collections are generally available 30 minutes after the aircraft’s arrival time at the respective Virgin Australia Cargo collection point.  Please refer to our list of cargo facilities for more information.  On arrival, you will require your Air Waybill (AWB) number and photo ID to collect your animal.  If you are running late to collect your animal, please contact your local cargo facility in advance.  Animals not collected within 90 minutes of arrival may be handed over to an animal transport specialist at the owner’s expense. When you are collecting your animal, we advise that you open animal containers with caution as pets are often extremely excited to see you.  As such, it is very important to quickly clip the lead on or secure your animal as appropriate.

General FAQs

Forms

Below is a summary of the animal checklists and forms listed on this page.

Contact us

We look forward to welcoming your animal onboard soon.  Remember if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your animal transport specialist, or Virgin Australia Cargo (if booked directly).

P: 13 82 87

E: cargo@virginaustralia.com