Fish fly with American Airlines


American Airlines Cargo says it is moving record numbers of decorative koi carp, or Nishikigoi, from Japan to destinations around the globe. The ornamental fish are highly prized by collectors. The most beautiful of the specimens can grow to more than 100 cm in length and be valued at $2 million each. 

Naturally, the fish therefore require special handling when traveling by air.

In 2023, American Airlines Cargo in Japan transported koi in record volumes – more than 19,100kg to Los Angeles and 9,600kg to Dallas alone.

Director of cargo sales, Emma Oliver,  said: “These living works of art are beautiful creatures and require highly specialized knowledge and training in order to ship them. The transportation of the Nishikigoi must be on direct flights due to their sensitivity, with great precautions taken to tailor their travel accommodations to their oxygen needs.”


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