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Air Canada Pilot Diverts Flight To Save A Dog’s Life

Air Canada pilot diverts flight to save dog when a problem with the heating system in the cargo area drops to life-threatening temperatures.
September 21, 2015 Updated: August 23, 2022

Seven-year-old French bulldog, Simba was flying from Tel Aviv to Toronto in the cargo area when the pilot noticed a problem with the cargo area’s heating system. Fearful for the dog’s life, the captain diverted the flight to Frankfurt, where Simba was relocated in perfect health to another flight.

“As soon as the crew became aware of the temperature issue, they began to worry”, declared Peter Fitzpatrick, Air Canada spokesman. “Due to the altitude, the situation could’ve become very unpleasant for Simba and could’ve possibly been life-threatening if the flight had continued,” he added.

The diversion caused a 75-minute delay for the nearly 260 passengers on board Air Canada. “We are aware that this was an inconvenience for our passengers,” Fitzpatrick said, “but the overall reactions were positive once they knew Simba’s life was at risk.”

Simba’s owner, German Kontorovich, excitedly declared in Toronto “he is my dog; he is like a son to me, he means everything to me.” Another passenger said, “There’s no doubt that diverting our flight was the right thing to do.”

The expert in aviation Phyl Durby declared to the media that “the diversion could cost the airline thousands of dollars in fuel costs, but it was certainly right. The captain is responsible for all lives on board.”


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