Shipping caskets

Air New Zealand national cargo has undertaken a review of the processes and requirements for the shipping of caskets as cargo on Air New Zealand domestic flights to ensure our procedures protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, as well as supporting proper and safe handling of all caskets.

Acceptable shipping organisations

Caskets for Air New Zealand Domestic flights can only be accepted from Funeral Directors, New Zealand District Health Boards (DHBs) or the New Zealand Police.

There are no restrictions on who the casket can be consigned to, however a specific organisation or person must be identified as the consignee at the time of delivery to Air New Zealand Cargo. Appropriate identification must be presented at time of pickup and the casket will only be released to the person or organisation named on the consignment note.


To ensure that space is made available, all caskets must be pre-booked.

To make a booking:

  • Within the hours of 8:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday phone +64 800 747 777 and one of the national cargo team will assist you.
  • Outside of these hours a casket can be booked by contacting the origin airport cargo staff – see the contact us page for regional airport contact details.


Human remains carried on the national cargo network only are not required to be embalmed.

It is essential that the following packaging, sealing and documentation requirements are adhered to as otherwise the casket will not be able to be accepted for carriage.


To ensure the casket is protected whilst loading in and out of the aircraft it must be fully enclosed (over all sides, top and bottom) in either a purpose built corrugated box or corrugated sheeting of not more than two pieces. The box or sheeting must not follow the contours of the casket.

Caskets solely wrapped in any other manner - for example bubble wrap/canvas or vinyl - without the above noted cardboard exterior protection will not be accepted for carriage.

Hermetically sealed

All human remains must be hermetically sealed inside the casket. A hermetically sealed certificate (details below) must be supplied.


The following documentation must be provided at the time of cargo acceptance:

  • Death certificate (Interim is acceptable, which are completed on either HP4720 from pathology departments/hospitals, or COR3 from coroners).
  • Hermetically sealed certificate verifying that the human remains have been hermetically sealed (as per below sample).

Infant human remains (still born, miscarried or very young infants)

National cargo hermetically sealed certificate.


Infant human remains must be presented in a casket (enclosed in cardboard box that doesn't conform to the shape of the casket) or wooden or metal box as supplied by DHBs.

Hermetically sealed

All infant human remains must be hermetically sealed inside the casket. A hermetically sealed certificate (see sample) must be supplied.


If a death certificate has been issued if it must be supplied at time of acceptance. A certificate certifying that the human remains have been hermetically sealed (as per sample) must always be supplied.