Simba Air Canada Simba Air Canada Awww... The life of Simba, a 7-year-old French bulldog, was saved when an Air Canada pilot diverted a flight to Toronto when the climate control where Simba was flying malfunctioned. (Photo: Screenshot via CityNews)

Pilot diverts plane to save a dog's life

Air Canada flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto stopped in Frankfurt to keep Simba from freezing to death.

The next time you cram into your airline seat and hope that someone doesn't recline into your knees, think about what your pet goes through on a flight. They're in a carrier barely bigger than they are, stowed away from their owner in a climate-controlled portion of the luggage compartment below deck.

But when something goes wrong, their lives are as critical as anyone else's on that plane. Just ask German Kontorovich, an Israeli who owns a French bulldog named Simba. According to CityNews, their flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto was diverted to Frankfurt, Germany, when the cargo climate control malfunctioned.

Even though the main cabin was unaffected, it was important for the flight to land before it got over the Atlantic so that 7-year-old Simba wouldn't freeze to death. "With the altitude it can become very uncomfortable, and possibly the situation could have been life-threatening if the flight had continued," an Air Canada spokesman told CNN. Since all that needed to be done in Frankfurt was transfer Simba to another Toronto-bound plane, the delay was only 75 minutes, and Kontorovich and Simba were reunited in Toronto.

Simba Air Canada mapA map showing how far Air Canada Flight 85 had to divert in order to save a French bulldog after a cargo area malfunction. (Photo: Screenshot via CityNews)

So, even though some people might have missed their connecting flights, one look at Simba's face will probably make it OK. And kudos to the pilot and flight crew of Air Canada Flight 85 for doing the right thing. They'd definitely fit in at Wings of Rescue, a nonprofit that flies shelter pets to new homes.


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