SHENYANG, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- China Southern Airlines has allowed free travels for service dogs.
According to the airline company on Monday, dog containers and food will also be transported free of charge.
"To take a service dog on flight, passengers need to submit medical proof, after which the ground staff will help the passengers and their dogs check in, pass through security and board the flight," said Shi Jun of China Southern Airlines.
Dogs have to wear muzzles and leashes and should stay beside the feet of passengers they serve rather than running in the cabin or taking up a seat, the airline said.
Last Saturday, the airline carried a support dog on a trip from Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
China has more than 85 million disabled people. The number is expected to exceed 160 million by 2050, according to China Disabled Persons' Federation. Of those, over 12 million are blind and partially sighted and more than 20 million hearing impaired.