An Air Canada pilot is being celebrated as a hero after grounding a plane to save a freezing pup in the cargo hold.
On Sunday, en route from Istanbul to Toronto, a pilot noticed one of the cargo hold heaters had malfunctioned—and the temperature was quickly dropping. He made the critical decision to divert the plane to save the dog onboard, a 7-year-old French bulldog named Simba.
Air Canada representative Peter Fitzpatrick told Travel + Leisure, “[our] pilots are professionals, who are responsible for the entire flight.” Canines included, of course.
“As soon as the crew became aware of the temperature issue,” said Fitzpatrick, “the Captain grew rightfully concerned for the dog’s comfort and wellbeing."
Phyl Durby, an aviation expert, told City News the 75-minute delay and estimated $10,000 in fuel was the cost of saving the dog’s life.
“[Without heat,] it will probably get down to below freezing [in the cargo area],” Durby said.
Upon landing in Frankfurt, Simba was transferred to another plane and later reunited with its very grateful owner.