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Cargo air waybill (Air Waybill) is a document that evidences a deal between the shipper and the carrier (airline or airline agent) for the transport of cargo by carrier airlines. Air Waybill issues by the shipper or an agent.

Thus, an air waybill has several functions:

In addition, since the air waybill contains sufficient information about the product, it can been used as a customs declaration.

Air Waybill (AWB) has 11-digit number that used for the booking, to check the status of the cargo, and to determine the current location of the goods. The number consists of:

  1. The first three digits prefixed by IATA airlines coding system. For example, the prefix of Emirates Airline is 176 and Airbridgecargo is 580.
  2. The following 7 digits is a serial number (respectively, each AWB the number for each shipment);
  3. The last digit is the so-called check digit calculated as follows:
    • a) seven-digits divide by 7 (eg, 2789950/7 = 395,707.8
    • b) Multiply by 7 (395707 * 7 (no fraction) = 2769949)
    • c) The result number is subtracted from the original invoice number (2769949-2769950 = -1)

Thus, the total AWB number is 27699501. This number including a check digit been automatically calculated by reservation systems such as «Amadeus» or «Gabrielle».


Air waybill AWB kit consists of 12 copies (3 originals, with the text of the agreement on the reverse side, and 9 copies):

An airline representative or an agent weight the cargo, and indicates the weight, number of pieces, weight and sizes in the AWB. Besides an air waybill stamp by the airport warehouse, airport security certifies acceptance of the cargo.

There are two main types of air waybills – first is MAWB (Master Air Waybill) and second is HAWB (House Air Waybill).

MAWB (main or external one) is a serial number WB with a prefix of airlines and assigned by the airline itself. The MAWB contains the names and addresses of the agents of those countries, where the cargo was sent and where arrives.

HAWB - (domestic or internalWB). Wears a serial number, which appoints the agent himself. This WB indicates all the information about the Shipper and the consignee according to the attached particular proforma invoice.

Here are some decryption of codes and class fares, which indicated in the case of transmission by electronic means AWB:

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