dead body transportation by air

Dead body transportation by air in India | Detailed Steps, documents, and Cost

If you’re looking to transport a dead body / human remains by air in India then this article is for you. Contact VMEDO for hassle-free and low-cost dead body transport by air across India.

People know very little about dead body transportation and the procedure to follow to transport a dead body from one city to another, here is our sincere effort to explain the complete steps to transport a dead body by air in India.

When your loved one dies, the whole world around you stops. The mental and emotional agony that death brings to the deceased’s family members is inexplicable. The going gets tougher if the person has died in another country or state and you’re unaware of the procedure to bring them back to their final resting place because people have to transport a dead body or Human remains to their city to perform their last rites.

You can choose to transport a dead body from one city to another city by air/plane or by road by a Mortuary ambulance. Transporting a body by Mortuary ambulance is much easier and doesn’t need any documentation apart from a Death certificate issued by a Doctor or Hospital. However transporting a Dead body by Road for a very long distance or to other countries is not feasible, that is when you need to think about transporting a dead body or Human remains by flight.

Transporting human remains over a plane via air cargo is not that easy. It has a lot of formalities and strict documentation requirements. You need to be aware of the complete procedure and the documentation required. If you are unable to take up the complete responsibility and looking for professionals to help you throughout this process, then you can call VMEDO: +91- 9343180000 for more information or to help you ship dead body or Human remains to other cities in India or to other countries from India. This article covers the detailed procedure and documentation to transport a dead body on flight/air cargo in India.

VMEDO is a Medical transportation provider in India. With an ambulance network across India, a 24×7 support team, and an expert team on board, we have helped thousands of people during domestic and International Corpse transportation. One can book any type of ambulance service across India through the VMEDO app, VMEDO Helpline: 9343180000, or through the website vmedo

In the case of transporting a dead body or Human remains inside India or from India to other countries has similar procedures; however, there are a few changes in the documentation requirements. Let us see the procedure in detail one after the other.

How to transport the dead body by plane within Indian cities?

This is also known as Domestic dead body transportation or Domestic dead body repatriation. Various Metro cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai, attract a lot of people from neighboring cities and from other states with job opportunities. They stay in a different city for a very long time, and in case of death, they have to be transferred to their home. The family back home needs to get their loved one back, and in such a situation, here are the steps one needs to follow.

Step 1: Get Hospital clearance and get the death certificate issued

  • You need to get a Death certificate issued from the hospital or the concerned doctor stating the cause of death.
  • Death Certificate Format: Please ensure that the issued death certificate has the following details in it – Name, age, gender, date of death, Reason for death, Address of the deceased, Identification mark if any, Doctor name, Doctor signature with a seal, Doctor Registration ID or medical License number.
  • Cross-check if all the details are correct and match any ID card of the deceased.
  • If the death certificate is issued in the local language, request the doctor for the English version of the same. Just to avoid possible resistance from air cargo authorities at the source or destination point. We have experienced a few situations where this has happened, which could lead to delays in airport clearance.
  • Take a few photocopies of the death certificate, at least 10 numbers.
  • In the case of unnatural death, you might need to get a post-mortem. You need to collect the post-mortem certificate, and FIR copy from the police department.
  • Please read the reason for death properly, you need to know it before you book air cargo, as few of the air cargo may not allow the human remains of a person who may have died of yellow fever, plague, anthrax, or other diseases.

Step 2: Arrange for mortuary

  • Once the death certificate is issued, check for air cargo availability from your nearest airport to the destination airport. In case you have to wait for a long time, it’s better if you can book a mortuary for the body to keep it away from decomposition.
  • You can demand to freeze at the hospital mortuary
  • If the particular hospital doesn’t have a mortuary facility you can book the nearest private or government mortuary.
  • Book a Mortuary ambulance with a freezer box fitted to transport the dead body from the hospital to the mortuary.

Step 3: Get Police NOC from the local police station

  • You need to get the police clearance or NOC from the nearest police jurisdiction.
  • Police will issue a NOC understanding of the circumstances.

Step 4: Get an Embalming service and an Embalming certificate issued

  • One of the most important documents for transporting human remains by air is the Embalming certificate. Basically, a body needs to undergo Embalming to avoid decomposition for a long time.
  • Various private, government hospitals and private Embalming service providers offer this service and issue Embalming Certificates. Find the nearest embalming center and get the embalming certificate signed and sealed by the concerned authorities or the Embalming doctor.
  • You should then arrange a coffin box and coffin box certificate.

Step 5: Book a Coffin Box and get a Coffin box certificate

  • Once the Embalming center hands over the body along with the Embalming certificate, you need to book a Coffin box from the nearest funeral undertaker.
  • Make sure that the coffin box you are getting is from a professional undertaker and that the coffin box has not been used earlier. Request your undertaker for a coffin box certificate for air cargo clearance.

Step 6: Arrange a list of  Documents required for cargo clearance for dead body

Keep 10 copies of the following documents handy for cargo clearance

  • Death certificate
  • Post-mortem copy
  • Police NOC
  • Embalming certificate
  • Coffin certificate
  • Photo and ID card (Aadhaar card/ driving license or any equivalent document)
  • Contact details of the receiver in case of non-accompanied transport

Step 7: Book a Mortuary ambulance to the airport

  • Once you have all these documents with you, you need to take the human remains to the airport by mortuary ambulance. You can choose to book the nearest ambulance through VMEDO.
  • Now you may not need to book a freezer-fitted mortuary vehicle as the body inside the coffin box has undergone embalming service.

Step 8: Book a cargo ticket

  • Not every air operator accepts Human remains in their cargo. Check for air cargo accepting Human remains or dead bodies in India. Call the air cargo department and enquire about the availability of the service and the next available flight. Book cargo online (if possible). Usually the majority of air operators don’t accept online bookings for a dead body. You need to visit the cargo department physically to book the slots.
  • Please report to the AWB section of Air cargo and produce all the documents at least 3 hours before departure time.
  • You can book for the Air cargo with or without accompaniment.
  • In case of transportation without an attendee, you need to give the contact details of the receiver.
  • Whereas, if the transportation is with an attendee, you need to book an air ticket for the same flight.

The entire procedure can take a lot of time. VMEDO can help you with an end to end transportation including all the documentation support. We allocate a dedicated executive to help you throughout the process who knows the complete steps and to get the documentation on time from the concerned authorities. You can call VMEDO Helpline +91-9343180000 for more details and for service bookings.


How much does it cost to transport the dead body by air in India?

The price for domestic dead body transportation will be in the range of 25,000 to 30,000 INR. The cost depends on various factors. Here are a few major factors that determine the cost of dead body transportation by Air in India.

  1. Air cargo charges to transport the dead body by air: This depends on the weight of the coffin and the destination airport. Usually, for children below 10 years, 50kg is considered, and for adults 100 kg is considered including that of the coffin box. The cost for cargo again depends on the air cargo service provider. Generally, air cargo cost for a dead body is around 5,000 to 10,000 INR.
  2. Coffin box and certificate cost in India: This depends upon the type of coffin that you are booking; you can choose to book a normal wooden coffin box or a premium wooden coffin box. Usually, the cost for a coffin box will be between 3,000 to 12,000 INR, depending upon the type of coffin you need.
  3. Mortuary ambulance cost: This depends upon the distance from the hospital to the mortuary and from the mortuary to the airport cargo section. Usually, it costs about 5,000 INR to travel up to 100 km. More than that, the price may vary depending on the vehicle type and total distance.
  4. Embalming service charges in India: Most of the govt hospitals do the embalming services for free. However, private Embalming centers may charge up to 5,000 INR for Embalming services.
  5. Mortuary charges: Most of the govt hospitals do not charge for Mortuary storage. However private hospitals and Private mortuary centres might charge up to 5,000 INR for the storage of the dead bodies in the Freezer.
  6. Air ticket charges: If someone is accompanying the cargo then the air tickets for the passengers need to be booked. It will purely depend upon the air operator and the traveling distance. As you will be booking it at the last moment, generally it will be on the higher side than the usual.

These are the major cost factors, but if you are hiring a professional or an agent to assist you throughout the process his professional charges will be added.

If you want professional assistance for transporting a dead body across India, Call VMEDO Helpline: 9343180000 and find out the best cost in the market. We have partnered with ambulance partners across India, and professional agents to assist you throughout the process and our 24×7 emergency assistance team will help you with all the required documentation verification and discussion with local authorities whenever required.


How much time does it take to transport the dead body by flight in India?

Usually Human remains transportation by air takes an average of 1 to 2 days to reach the destination airport. The time of transportation depends on various factors. Here are a few factors that affect transportation time.

  1. How quickly you can get a death certificate from the doctor. Generally, for a death occurring inside the hospital, you will get a death certificate issued quickly. However, if death has occurred outside the hospital it might take a little more time.
  2. In case of an unnatural death, the body needs to undergo post-mortem which may take at least 5 hours along with a certificate.
  3. The availability of embalming centers is also an important factor. If there are no embalming centers nearby, you need to take the human remains to the nearest city to get it done.
  4. Next available air cargo for the dead body. Few of the destinations will have limited flight availability; hence it might take more time in case of unavailability of flight or cargo services.


How to transport a dead body by air cargo from India to other countries?

This is also called International dead body transportation or International dead body repatriation.

The international dead body transportation from India to other countries will have more or less the same procedure as domestic dead body transportation by air. However, there are a few additional procedures and documents for the same. Also, the cost and time for the same may vary a lot.

Read more about Dead body transportation from India to other countries

What are the documents required to transport the dead body by plane in India?

1. Death Certificate from the hospital.
2. NOC from the Local Police.
3. Embalming Certificate
4. Coffin Box certificate
5. Photo and ID card (Original Passport / Driving License/ Aadhaar Card) issued by the respective Authority.
6. Contact details & address of the person who will receive the coffin at the destination.
7. No Objection certificate from the respective country’s consulate.

Note: All these documents should be in English with at least 10 photocopies of the same.

Details of Each Document

  1. Death Certificate:

• If the person has died in a hospital, getting a death certificate is easy. But if the person has died at home or somewhere other than a hospital, then you need to contact a nearby clinic or a nursing home. • If the deceased has had a visiting doctor, then he/she can issue a death certificate.
• Let’s suppose the death is sudden & natural, then you will need to provide the medical reports to the doctor mainly to show that it’s a natural death. Sometimes these things may become complicated.

2. No objection certificate (police clearance certificate):

After getting the death certificate you need to visit the nearby police station that comes under your jurisdiction and inform them about the need for a police NOC (mainly to transport the dead body in a cargo flight).
They may ask several documents and questions related to death, mainly to confirm that death is natural and no crime is involved. They may visit the place of death if they find out that death is not natural.

3. Embalming certificate:

After getting the police clearance certificate, the body is to be embalmed and packed in a coffin. Body Embalming is done mainly to avoid the decomposition of the body by removing the body fluids and replacing them with chemicals. This is done in all the government hospitals and medical colleges.

Post-embalming, you can get the body to be washed and groomed according to your religious traditions. After all this, the body is packed and sealed in a coffin box. The coffin can be customized to your requirements. After the final inspection, the Coffin certificate is provided. Only then, it is possible to transport the dead body on a cargo plane.

Note: Always book the coffin as “Cargo”.

It is imperative for at least one to travel along with the cargo. So, it’s important to plan your flight bookings accordingly. Make sure that you have at least 8 hours in hand to finish all these formalities before boarding the flight. (Also, the airlines expect you to arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to departure. So, plan wisely)
Your ordeal doesn’t end here, as you’ll have to wait at the airport, because the cargo takes forever to reach you. This excruciating process comes to an end when you produce the receipt to collect the coffin

Please feel free to comment if you need more information, or if we are missing any information. Also, share your personal experience which could help our readers.

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