The alternative to an air pass is a bounce pass.
There are many several of air passes:
The baseball pass is a one handed pass. It resembles the motion of throwing a baseball, which is where it gets its name. This pass is best for getting the ball up the court quickly, perhaps in the dying seconds in the game.
The overhead pass involves using two hands to throw the basketball from above one's head. It is the same way soccer players throw the ball after an out-of-bounds. This is a good way to pass the ball over defenders.