Travelling with Pets

SATA - Azores Airlines seeks to comply with IATA’s requirements related to LIVE ANIMAL REGULATION (LAR), by ensuring that all animals are transported as safely and humanely as possible. We also seek to comply with the fulfillment of the documentary requirements, which change according to your destination, as to guarantee the safety of your pet. However, the pet owner is responsible for making sure that the pet complies with all the requirements for transport as well as entry into the country.

Domestic animals here mentioned are those who travelling with their owners, or authorized person*, up to a number of 5, with non-commercial character, not intended for sale or transferred to another owner, and remain under the responsibility of the person accompanying them.
* "Authorized person ' means a natural person who is authorized in writing by the owner to (written declaration and signed), on account of this, for the movement of non-commercial character of the pet".

Please note that animals under 8 weeks of age, pregnant or breastfeeding females are not accepted for carriage.

According to the IATA LAR will be allowed to accept more than one animal in the same container, only transport in hold and in the following situations and limits:

  • Adult animals of comparable size, up to 14kg each, only if the animals are used to cohabit, and the maximum of 2 animals per container, except if they are considered natural enemies;
  • Animals of the same brood, up to 6 months of age, and the maximum of 3 per container; and animals littermates over 8 weeks can travel together, since they are accompanied by the mother which still depend, if all conditions described on the Transport of pet animals in the hold and according with national regulations are respected the transportation will be accepted.

 

Domestic flights

For dogs over three months, it’s required:
- Electronic identification by micro chipping or legible tattoo (preferably applied before July 3rd, 2011);
- Proof that the rabies vaccine has been administered to the animal through health bulletin or "Pet Passport", which contains the name and address of the owner.

For dogs under 3 months (8 weeks to 12 weeks):
- A veterinary certificate is mandatory, containing the owner’s name and address, as well as the motive and the period during which the suspension of vaccination is expected to continue.

For other animals that do not have a health bulletin:
-Health certificate issued by a veterinarian authorized by the competent authority stating that the animal has all health conditions and is fit to travel to the final destination, issued within 5 days before the scheduled departure date.

 

European Flights

It’s necessary to remark that on flights to/from the European Union (except countries where specific rules apply: United Kingdom, Swedish and Malta), according to Reg. EU 998/2003, passengers carrying Dogs, Cats and Ferrets over 3 months or more must be in the possession of:

- Electronic identification by micro chipping or legible tattoo (preferably applied before July 3rd, 2011). Any vaccination against rabies before the identification is not considered valid;
- Proof of valid anti rabid vaccination or revaccination done when the animal was at least 3 months old. The anti-rabies vaccination will be considered valid 21 days after completing the primary vaccination or immediately after revaccination, as long as the protocols and the validities’ periods required by the manufacturer are respected.

For other animals: Health certificate issued by a veterinarian authorized by the competent authority stating that the animal has all health conditions and is fit to travel to the final destination, issued within 5 days before the scheduled departure date.

Note: SATA Azores Airlines is not authorized to transport live animals to/from United Kingdom in the aircraft cabin and cargo compartments.


Flights originating in Third Countries and returning to Portugal:

Dogs, cats and ferrets:
When the animals originate from a country or territory without any risk of rabies (for example: Canada, United States of America, among others):
- Electronic identification by micro chipping or legible tattoo (preferably applied before July 3rd, 2011). Any vaccination against rabies before the identification is not considered valid;
- Proof of valid anti rabid vaccination or revaccination, done when the animal was at least 3 months old. The anti-rabies vaccination will be considered valid 21 days after the completion of the primary vaccination or immediately after revaccination, as long as the protocols and the validities’ periods required by the manufacturer are respected.
- Health certificate validated by an official authority if it was filled by an authorized veterinarian when coming from third countries.

NOTE: The reintroduction of animals who have moved to countries outside the EU is allowed with the presentation of the Pet Passport, avoiding the achievement of an official certificate in those countries. However, it is necessary to comply with the health conditions established in those countries and conduct blood analysis for verification of the number of antibodies (enough) with respect to the disease (antibody titration), if applicable. In this case, before departing from Portugal or from another EU country, the passport must be filled by an authorized veterinarian.

- The control of these animals in structures called Travelers' Entry Points (ports and airports) is mandatory. The owner must notify the competent authority in the Traveler’s Entry Point in writing. The notification must be made by the owner or authorized person, designated and authorized through a form, available at www.dgv min-agricultura.pt, completed in the 48 hours before the arrival of the animals.

For other domestic animals (except dogs, cats and ferrets):
- An authorization from the DGAV (Portuguese National Authority for Animal Health) validating the required health conditions for the transportation of the species is necessary.
- Specific health documentation as a health certificate stating, when applicable, the health conditions required by the DGAV (Portuguese National Authority for Animal Health).

Considerations:
The requirements for entry and import of pets vary depending on the destination, type of animal and country of origin. Before you make a booking for your pet, you should consult the authorities of the country of destination.
Bearing into consideration that if your pet has to return to Portugal must be take into account the requirements described above, on Flights originating in Third Countries and returning to Portugal.

As well as verifying the conditions of entry of your pet into:

  • United States of America
  • Canada
  • Europe , Portugal mainland , Azores, Madeira and Cape Verde
    • Direção de Serviços de Alimentação e Veterinária Regionais – www.dgav.pt
    • Autoridade Nacional de Conservação da Natureza, o Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas (ICNF) - www.icnf.pt

     

    When animals originate from a country or territory with risk of rabies (for example: Brazil, Venezuela, Ukraine, Africa, among others), in addition to the valid identification and the anti-rabid vaccination, it’s also necessary:
    - Blood test for checking the number of sufficient antibodies for rabies (carried out in laboratories approved by the EU, at least 1 month after vaccination against rabies, whether it’s the first time the animal is vaccinated, whether it’s a revaccination);
    - The completion of a period of 3 months to movement of animals to Portugal, from the date of blood collection for the analysis above. (However, this 3 month period does not apply in the return of an animal that already left the community space with this analysis performed with favorable outcome, provided that the conditions referred above were fulfilled);
    - Health certificate validated by an official authority if it was filled by an authorized veterinarian when coming from third countries.
    - The control of these animals in structures called Travelers' Entry Points (ports and airports) is mandatory. The owner must notify the competent authority in the Traveler’s Entry Point in writing. The notification must be made by the owner or authorized person, designated and authorized through a form, available at www.dgv min-agricultura.pt, completed in the 48 hours before the arrival of the animals.

- At the time of booking should be informed the kind of animal to be transported, the dimensions of the container and the total weight of both, the booking will be subject to a posterior confirmation;
- Choose flights as direct as possible, once the animal can be exposed to a different climate in the intermediate stopovers, the pet well-being can be affected;
- You must check all destination(s) that are involved to confirm and get all the necessary documentation for the origin/intermediate destinations;
- Large animals, with more than 45kg, breeds fierce or considered dangerous, can be carried as air cargo (transportation is analyzed according to the species), for this purpose should contact our cargo service.

The species listed below are not accepted as checked baggage:
  • Farm animals (even if breeded in domestic environment, e.g. sheep; pigs; chickens; ducks; goats; pigeons, etc.);
  • Reptiles (e.g. snakes; lizards; iguana; chameleon, etc.) with exception to tortoise and small domestic turtles);
  • Breeds classified as potentially dangerous in accordance with the Portuguese Law:­
    • Fila Brasileiro, ­
    • Dogo Argentino, ­
    • Pit Bull Terrier, ­
    • Rottweiler, ­
    • American Staffordshire Terrier, ­
    • Staffordshire Bull Terrier, ­
    • Tosa Inu
Is necessary to have into consideration some points so that your pet have a quiet journey:
  • Small pets may be carried in the cabin in a proper container, cage or waterproof bag (up to 8 kg) that allows the animal to stand up, rotate, or lie down;
  • The maximum dimensions for the container, on SATA Air Açores and Azores Airlines are 55 cm (length) x 40 cm (width) x 20 cm (height);
  • Per passenger is only allowed transporting one animal per container in the cabin, and each aircraft have limits of acceptance/confirmation for pets transportation;
  • The doors must have a fully secure locking system;
  • The container must be properly ventilated to a proper air circulation (at least on 3 areas, including the door);
  • The ventilation openings must be small enough to prevent that no part of the animal's body contact with the exterior;
  • The container must be made of a strong material to be escape-proof and leak-proof (waste and urine) and that the interior isn’t easily destroyed by the animal;
  • Absorbent material must be placed on the inside (newspapers, blankets, paper towels, etc.);
  • Due to safety reasons the rodents animals must be transported in a sealed and rigid plastic container (to avoid accidental rodent escape);
  • The transportation of fish must be done in a water-resistant fiberboard container , insulating material plastic or wood, expanded polystyrene or Styrofoam and the fish have to be inside a a strong plastic bag.
Examples of containers for carrying animals in the cabin:Cabin container - Animal Transportation
  • Containers cannot be placed on the seats of the aircraft and the animal cannot be removed from the container during the entire flight;
  • It is mandatory that the animal is kept, throughout the entire journey, within a container, a waterproof travel bag (suitable for animal transportation) or cage provided by the customer;
  • The transportation of pregnant females or in breastfeeding period shall not be accepted;
  • Pets should travel in a seat by the window to its safety and comfort (there are appropriate seats to be allocated and will be assigned at the moment of the service confirmation).

List of animals species accepted for carriage in the cabin:
-Cats ,dogs and ferrets;
-Other small domestic animals (Guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, rabbits, tortoises/turtles and aquarium fish)

To check the fees charged when transporting pets in cabin please check our excess baggage table.

 

For a safe journey to your pet it will be necessary to take into consideration the following information:
  • Animals should be carried only in properly sealed containers;
  • Requirements for purchasing/constructing:
    • The maximum dimensions of containers for transportation in hold, in SATA Air Açores and Azores Airlines are 100 cm (length) x 78 cm (width) x 69 cm (height), in which can be inferior depending the length, width and height of your pet;
    • Handling bars and handles must be included in the construction of the container so that it can be safely handled and loaded;
    • The container must be properly ventilated to a correct air circulation;
    • One end of the container (considered as a door) must open and must be covered with bars, welded mesh or soft expanded metal firmly fixed to the container so that the animal cannot move it;
    • Doors must be completely secure and reinforced to prevent any accidental opening.


Container requirements for transportation in the cargo compartment:
- Construction materials: Fiberglass, rigid plastic, metal, solid wood or plywood.

Indications of how to measure a dog and the respective transport container:
A = Animal’s length from the nose to the tail’s root;
B = Height from the ground to the elbow;
C = Distance between shoulders;
D = Animal’s height in position (top of the head for pets with non-erect ears up - the tips of the ears for pets with erect ears).
- The container’s length must be equal to:
A + 1/2 B. (domestic flights) A + B (international flights);
- The width of the container must be equal to Cx2 (domestic flights) and (C + 3cm) x 2 (international flights).
- The height (flat or rounded top) must be equal to D (domestic flights) and D +7cm (international flights).
Container Especification - Animal Transportation
Image and its caption with the requirements of a suitable container to transport domestic animals (dogs and cats).
Container - Animal Transportation   1 = Handles

2 = Side Ventilation

3 = Locking Pins

4 = Handle Bars

5 = Plastic Brackets

 

  • Plastic doors are allowed, provided that the hinges and pins are made of metal and sufficiently thickened to ensure their attachment;
  • Large doors require additional hinges and two or three secure means of fixation to be totally safe (ex.: plastic brackets; pins, etc.);
  • The ventilation openings must be small enough to prevent that no part of the animal's body contact with the exterior;
  • If the container has wheels, they must be removed or blocked;
  • The sides of the container must be solid and must contain holes or mesh for proper ventilation;
  • The inside must be smooth and without protrusions that the animal can bite or scratch, causing any kind of damage or compromising the security of the container;
  • The upper part of the container must be solid, but ventilation holes are allowed over the entire surface, as long as the safety of the container is not compromised;
  • Food and water containers must be present inside the container with access from the outside to use in case of delays or in transfer/stopovers, following the indications of assistance provided by the owner or an authorized person. If sealed, an extra dose of food should be should be strapped to the outside of the container;
  • Certain species require reinforced containers or made of metal due to its size and weight.

 

Container - Animal Transportation

 

List of animals species accepted for carriage in the cargo compartment:
- Dogs, cats and ferrets
- Other small domestic animals- guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, rabbits, tortoises/turtles, aquarium fish and some species of birds (must obtain information through one of our sales offices or through contact center to the specificity of the species to be allowed to transported).

The transport of animals on hold is included in the free baggage allowance. When the free
baggage allowance is exceeded, normal excess baggage shall be charged, check here the excess baggage table.

 

Transport of brachycephalic breeds of dogs and cats (snub nosed breeds)

Brachycephalic breeds are species with larger predisposition to suffer with respiratory brachycephalic syndrome, that affects different areas of the respiratory tract. Most dogs and cats of this breed do not suffer of all symptoms  of this syndrome, but as owner you need to be familiar with the special needs of your pet, and the possible risks involved in this journey that you need to perform. Recognizing that due to anatomic specificities of snub nosed breeds tend to be more vulnerable to changes in air quality and temperature in the hold of the aircraft, and taking into consideration that animals are transported in pressurized holds that have the same quality of air in the passengers cabin, the circulation may not be the ideal for the individual needs of your pet.

 

We recommend that:

- Before to accomplish your travel, your pet should be seen by a veterinarian to check the physical condition;
- The container has 10% more space than the standardized by IATA (LAR) - Container requirements for transportation in the cargo compartment of dogs and cats, as referenced above.

SATA welcomes certified, professionally-trained service animals (dogs) and emotional support dogs that are transported in the aircraft cabin or in cargo hold (free carriage), as long as the animal is providing disability-related assistance to a passenger.
If you plan on travelling with your service dog or emotional support dog, we recommend that you notify us at least 48 hours prior to departure. The required documentation and behaviour of the animal will be assessed at the airport to ensure safety requirements are met before approving your animal for travel. Travelling with a service dog or emotional support dog, this animals cannot be transported at the owner lap, and onboard cannot be allocated at the emergency rows.

Categories of Dogs of assistance accompanying incapacitated passengers:

  • Eye seeing dog (to assist person with visual incapacity)
  • Hearing hear dogs (to assist person with auditory incapacity)
  • Dog of service (to assist person with mental, organic or motor incapacity

- The statute of assistance dog is recognized to the dogs trained in certificated, national or international, establishments;
- The assistance dog must carry the badge that classifies it as such in a visible way;
- The passenger must prove whenever necessary, the identification of the animal as an assistance dog and full fill the sanitary requirements.

 

Emotional support dog, is an animal that provides therapeutic benefit to its owner through companionship and affection assisting the owners at special duties. The requirements for the transportation of this assistance dog are:

  • Passenger must have on the ticket (issued on a single ticket) a point of exit or entry from USA, since this type of assistance dog only, and so far, is officially recognized in the USA.
  • Passenger have to forward to us a medical Certificate, or a MEDIF, from your licensed mental health professional, stating the passenger need for an emotional support or psychiatric service animal. The certificate must be filled 10 days’ prior the departing date and will be valid until the return. The document has the validity of 1 year;
  • These emotional support animals do not need to be trained in a certificated, national or international establishments, only must be trained to behave appropriately in a public setting:
    • remain at its owner’s feet
    • not run freely around an aircraft or an airport gate area
    • not bark or growl repeatedly at others persons
    • not bite or jump on people
    • not urinate or defecate in the cabin or gate area
  • Beyond the criterion described above, the dog must comply with the health requirements for its ransportation.
  • For another emotional support animal please obtain information through one of our sales offices or through contact center
- Book a direct flight whenever possible;
- Feed the animal with only a light meal and a short drink approximately two hours before the flight and exercise the animal immediately before dispatch;
- Pregnant females will not be accepted, once the stress caused by the transport can cause a miscarriage and even anticipate the birth during the flight;
- Confirm with your veterinarian that your pet is fit to travel. It is recommended to responsible animal owners, a timely appointment with a veterinarian who will prepare the animals and the necessary documents for the trip and who will be acquainted with the animal’s health status;
- The use of tranquilizers/sedation is not advisable once the effects of tranquilizers on animals at higher altitudes are unpredictable. The decision to prescribe a tranquilizer to your pet must be made by your veterinarian. If you believe that some type of sedation can be useful, be sure to obtain and follow the advice of a veterinarian;
- Tie a dose of extra food to the outside of the container for cases of requests for assistance in the intermediate scales, if indicated by the shipper, or in cases of unexpected flight delays; - To avoid the risk of damaging the bladder of large ungulates, it is preferable to give liquids not less than two hours before delivering the animal at the check-in.

Make sure that your pet gets familiar with the container before the trip. It’s recommended that:
- You leave the container open at home with a familiar object inside so that the animal spends time in it;
- You start with only the bottom half of the container available to your pet. When he gets used to being indoors, put the upper half and leave the door open.
- For a tranquil trip, it’s essential that your pet is familiar with the container.

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