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Stowaway cat survives flight from Athens

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Oscar Fox has a toy plane to play with. Photo: Swiss
11:52 CEST+02:00
A flight from Athens to Zurich was delayed for two hours on Wednesday after a cat stowed away in the undercarriage.

The animal survived freezing temperatures and a shortage of oxygen in the plane’s undercarriage to emerge the worse for wear from the aircraft in Kloten.

The black and white moggie is now being cared for by a vet.

The Blick newspaper reported that the takeoff of flight LX 1843 from Athens had been delayed as staff searched for the cat seen prowling around the plane before its departure.

The aircraft landed in Kloten at 10.21am instead of at 8.20am as scheduled.

“A cat was prowling around the Airbus A321 in Athens. Suddenly it vanished,” said Swiss airline spokeswoman Myriam Ziesack.

“Ground staff thought it had got into the undercarriage, but after two hours of searching they still hadn’t found it,” said Ziesack.

She said that the captain and technicians had then decided to take off as otherwise the delay to that flight and subsequent flights would have been too great.

The flight was uneventful and it was only after the plane had landed that the animal was discovered in the front undercarriage.

“It is amazing as the temperature can drop to minus 50 degrees there and there’s very little oxygen,” Ziesack said.

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Blick said an animal rescue service had taken charge of the cat, which did not have to be taken into quarantine.

“It’s now being nursed back to health,” it quoted Zurich health service spokeswoman Franziska Egli as saying.

Blick said airline staff had taken the cat to their hearts, christening it Oscar Fox after the last two letters of the airbus’s identifier – HB-IOF.

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