I am looking for safe options for transporting a small parrot from Germany to Iceland. What options are there for the bird and owner to travel together? Are there any airlines that fly from Germany to Iceland and allow taking birds into the cabin, assuming that the carrier easily fits under the seat? Any other safe transport options?

Note that air transport as cargo is out of the question due to low temperatures in the hold. Even in a heated hold, used for cats and dogs, there is a high risk of injury for a bird.

  • Note: 1. This is not a question about legal requirements. I have researched those. I am interested in safe transport. 2. This is not a shopping question, please don't vote to close as such. I am not asking for the best solution. I am asking for any safe solution at all, as I was unable to find one so far.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 17:37
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    I know this isn’t what you’ve requested, but there are ferries from Denmark to Iceland which may be more flexible about bird transport (although taking three days and I imagine much more expensive) Commented May 10, 2023 at 17:53
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    This is probably better asked on Pets.SE
    – Peter M
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 17:56
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    Also hope you are aware of this PDF about importing caged birds into iceland. Note that it says "Keflavik airport (KEF) is the only approved port of entry for pets". Thus you will have to fly
    – Peter M
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 17:59
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    @NeilTarrant It looks like you have to import pets via Keflavik airport. That would rule out ferries.
    – Peter M
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


Looking at this list, the only airline that is in the "birds allowed in cabin" list and flies to Keflavík is Vueling:

What pets do we transport?

Any animal on the list of animals permitted on board and which can be carried in an approved pet carrier that is not rigid and that is the following size: 45x39x21 cm and no heavier than 10 kg with the pet inside. On flights operated by Iberia, the carrier with the pet inside must not weigh more than 8 kg. Under no circumstances will animals be carried in the plane's cargo hold.

Animals permitted on board:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Birds (excluding birds of prey)
  • Turtles/tortoises

Vueling operates seasonal service between Barcelona and Keflavík, and also between Barcelona and several German cities. So a connecting flight on Vueling appears to be a viable option.

Note, however, that the Barcelona–Keflavík flight is not daily, nor are some of Vueling's route between Barcelona and Germany; so you may need to be flexible as to the day of the week you travel.

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    And PetTravel.com states "If your pet is ... a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case." Commented May 10, 2023 at 18:31
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    @WeatherVane Given that in the PDF I mentioned above that the import process involves a home inspection of a veterinary officer on multiple occasions before transport, I think that not being a protected species this should already be covered.
    – Peter M
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 18:38
  • @PeterM there is no mention of this possibility, which is over and above other import procedures. The home inspection seems to apply to the quarantine quarters (at the destination, before and after transporting the parrot). Commented May 10, 2023 at 18:42
  • @WeatherVane The link you posted says that "You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case". So in order to get a permit to import you are already declaring that it is a non-prohibited animal. If the documentation does not match the animal in question, an inspection by a qualified person will show this.
    – Peter M
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 18:55
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    @WeatherVane Thanks for pointing this out. I'm aware of the import requirements and luckily cockatiels are not CITES listed.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 22:07

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