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South African Airways

South African Airways is the national carrier of South Africa and a proud member of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline network. They are also one of the oldest and most experienced airlines in the world. From their central hub in Johannesburg, they offer regular service to almost 40 major centers in Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

South African Airways will accept pets for transport in the cargo hold of the aircraft only. They currently list four carrier sizes for animal transport. Rates may be subject to either a weight concept (charged per kilogram) or a piece concept (flat rate per piece) depending on where you are travelling.

CARRIER SIZE Pets are not permitted to travel in the cabin on any South African Airways flights. Carrier 1
  • Length: 60cm (24 in)
  • Width: 45cm (18 in)
  • Height: 40cm (16 in)
Carrier 2
  • Length: 80cm (31 in)
  • Width: 55 cm (22 in)
  • Height: 55 cm (22 in)
Carrier 3
  • Length: 100 cm ( 40 in)
  • Width: 65 cm (26 in)
  • Height: 70 cm (27 in)
Carrier 4
  • Length: 125 cm (49 in)
  • Width: 75 cm (29 in)
  • Height: 85cm (33 in)
CARRIER WEIGHT N/A Carrier 1 - 4 kg (9 lbs)
Carrier 2 - 6 kg (13 lbs)
Carrier 3 - 13 kg (28 lbs)
Carrier 4 - 22 kg (48 lbs)
CHARGES / FEES N/A Fees will depend on the weight, the point of departure, and the destination


  • Travelers are reminded that every country has different rules and regulations governing the acceptance and transportation of animals. It is strongly recommended that you contact the consulate, embassy, or government authority for any country (or countries) you will be visiting to ensure that you have met all entrance requirements.
  • Space for pets is limited. Please call before you travel to confirm a space on the flight for your pet.
  • South African Airways will only accept pets for transport in the cargo hold of their aircraft.
  • All animals destined for South Africa on international flights must be carried as manifest cargo.

If you are unable to travel with your pet

If your pet will be travelling unaccompanied, SAA Cargo can help. They have experience dealing with a variety of animals, and their Live Animals program was specifically designed to cater to the needs of animals travelling unaccompanied. They consider all International Air Transport Association (IATA) rules and regulations the minimum standard for the safe transport of live animals.

Codeshare flights

Pets may not be accepted on flights operated by codeshare partners. It is strongly recommended that you contact any codeshare partners, or any other airlines you may be travelling with, to familiarize yourself with their individual policies regarding pet travel.

Contact Information

  • South African Airways Reservations (USA/Canada): 1-800-722-9675
  • SAA Cargo website: Click Here
  • SAA website: Click Here
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