Pilot diverts international flight to save dog

Published On September 17, 2015 | By Keri | Middays

An Air Canada pilot diverted a flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto after being concerned for the well being of a passenger…Simba, the French bulldog.

The 7 year old pup was flying in the cargo area while his owner German Kontorovich was seated with the rest of the humans, when the pilot noticed the cargo area’s heating system was acting up.

Considering they were about to cross the Atlantic and a drop in temperature could put little Simba’s life in danger, the pilot made the decision to reroute the plane to Frankfurt, Germany and put the dog on another flight.

The total delay to passengers was just over an hour and the thousands of dollars in additional fuel costs will most likely be eaten by Air Canada.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said, “With the altitude it can become very uncomfortable, and possibly the situation could have been life-threatening if the flight had continued. While we recognize this was an inconvenience for our customers, the overall reaction was positive, particularly once people understood the dog was in potential danger but safe as a result of the diversion.”

Kontorovich, who is studying in Toronto, was grateful for the pilot’s thoughtfulness. “It’s my dog, it’s like (my) child. It’s everything.”

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