When Akasa air initially announced their operations in late 2022, they also mentioned their commitment towards providing customers with an inclusive travel experience. Fast forward a few months, and Akasa air has announced the provisions for pet travel to/from Kolkata. Akasa recently commenced operations from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBI) in Kolkata, making it the seventeenth destination they fly to and the second in West Bengal.
Shortly after commencing services, they announced the provisions for pet travel; in November 2022, they announced that “domesticated dogs and cats” will be allowed to fly on board, both in the cabin and in the cargo hold. These provisions make it only the second airline to permit pets to fly with passengers in both modes after Air India.
Akasa Air has also released a pet policy for those interested in flying with their pets.
As for weight limits, Akasa says pets weighing under 7Kg can travel in-cabin with the passenger, while those weighing between 7-32Kg must be checked in as baggage once passengers have passed through security. Pets who weigh more than 32Kg will have to travel through the cargo terminal service of the airliner. This weight criteria includes the weight of the pet crate in which the pet will travel.
Passengers must comply with the health and safety requirements, which means carrying and providing a health certificate, vaccination record, and further certifications as required for their pet. Akasa currently accepts two pets pet flight; one in the cargo hold and one in the cabin.
Pets are typically allowed to travel on board flights in India, barring a few exceptions. For instance, snub nosed (brachycephalic) breeds of dogs and cats are tricky to fly, as their natural physical buildup makes it difficult for them to breathe& regulate their body temperature, with things only worsening as the altitude increases.
While Akasa Air is not the only airline to permit pets on board, it is one of the few to give passengers options. For instance, SpiceJet permits pets to fly with passengers, but only in the cargo hold. Air India is the only other airline offering similar services to the one Akasa is currently providing, allowing pets to travel in cabin and in the cargo hold, provided they are at least eight weeks of age. The growing number of options will only serve to benefit pet parents and improve the pet travel experience as time goes on.