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Flying with Firearms

Flying with Firearms in South Africa

As at today’s date (1st January 2019), there are only three airlines which carry firearms within South Africa.  Below are details of each airline and their current regulations of carriage.

It is always our recommendation that you check with the airline before you book your ticket to ensure that you are fully aware of their requirements for transporting firearms.

  1. SA Express : http://www.flyexpress.aero/travel-information/#firearms

We spoke with the Customer Care department on 20th June 2017 (0861 729227) who confirmed that shotguns are classified as sports equipment and therefore qualify for the 15kg free baggage allowance for sports equipment.  If you should encounter any problems please ask to speak to a supervisor to clarify the situation.  Please also make a note of the above Customer Care number in case you need to get clarification from the head office.

You can also contact Timothy Ngwenya, Manager of Security, on 011 978 2315, should you have any queries on transporting your shotguns via SA Express.  He confirmed with me that you do not need to produce any document in addition to your firearms licence.


  1. SA Airlink : https://flyairlink.com/information/baggage-policy#/sporting

In February 2017, the CEO of SA Airlink confirmed to the CTSASA that Sport target shooting equipment where the target shooting firearm is licensed in the category “sport” will be included within the 15kg allowance.  Ammunition can be carried to a maximum of 5kg which is also within the 15kg allowance.  There is no need to produce any document other than your firearms licence.  Please download the SA Airlink confirmation email regarding documents HEREAlso see HERE for the policy on firearms and ammunition.


Rifles and shotguns will not be accepted as Checked Baggage, unless approved no less than three (3) working days prior to departure through AIRLINK Reservations Control Tel +27 11 451 7350.


  1. SAA : https://www.flysaa.com/manage-fly/baggage/checked-baggage/special-baggage

The CTSASA sent an email to SAA on 20th June 2017 requesting clarification that sporting firearms are categorised under sports equipment.  Their web site does indicate that this is the case.  You should also only need to produce your firearms licence when booking your firearm in to security.


Airlines which do NOT carry firearms : Mango, Kulula and Safair do not carry firearms.


If you have any other information on the above or have any negative experiences with the above three airlines, please do get in contact with Sarah Kalell, CTSASA Executive Officer at info@ctsasa.co.za or 086 111 4581.


Flying with Firearms Internationally

A number of airlines will transport firearms internationally.  Please check with the airline before booking your air ticket.  You will need:-

  1. South African Temporary Import/Export permit : apply for this at your local police station (allow AT LEAST 21 days to process).  You will need a letter of invitation from the shooting club/association where you are participating.


  1. United Kingdom : please apply via the CPSA UK web site here : https://www.cpsa.co.uk/vsp  allow at least eight weeks for the processing of your application.
  1. United States of America : Download the application form here : https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/docs/atf-f-5330-3apdf/download  and email your completed form to imports@atf.gov – allow 8 weeks for processing.  You will need a letter of invitation from the shooting club where you are participating.


Always check with your destination country on the applicable laws for temporarily importing firearms.  It does vary from country to country.


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