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17 Sep 2015

BY Sophie Griffiths

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Flight diverted to save dog's life

An Air Canada flight was diverted after a cargo hold heating unit failed, threatening the life of a pet dog.

French bulldog2

Photo credit: CityNews

The seven-year-old French bulldog Simba, had been riding in the cargo hold. Without heating, temperatures here can become very cold at high altitude.

Around 200 travellers on the flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto were delayed by 75 minutes as the flight was diverted to Frankfurt, when the pilot realised the heating unit had failed.

The overall reaction was positive, particularly once people understood the dog was in potential danger but safe as a result of the diversion," said Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesperson for AirCanada.

Mr Fitzpatrick added that, while the heating unit is not critical to completing a journey, the pilot chose to divert the flight just before it was to head over the Atlantic Ocean to protect the life of the animal on board.

Simba’s owner praised the pilot’s quick thinking. "It’s my dog, it’s like my child. It’s everything to me," he told the Canadian news website CityNews.

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