An Air Canada pilot diverted an international flight in order to save the life of a dog due to a heating malfunction in the cargo area.

Seven-year-old French bulldog Simba and his owner are ecstatic, as the dog could have almost frozen to death on a flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto.

Temperatures outside the aircraft dropped during the journey when the cargo area’s heating system malfunctioned, leaving Simba’s well-being in a state of peril.

The pilot decided to divert the flight of 232 passengers to Frankfurt, in order to save the dog’s life.

CityNews spoke to Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick who explained the situation.

“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,” he says. “With the altitude it can become very uncomfortable, and possibly the situation could have been life threatening if the flight had continued.”

The owner is over the moon and grateful to the pilot for taking into account his pooch’s life:

“It’s my dog, it’s like my child. It’s everything to me,” the owner says.