On Thursday, AirlineRatings.com released its annual list of the world’s safest airlines.
A dog was found dead on an Air France-KLM flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles Tuesday.
Airline spokesperson Lisette Ebeling-Koning confirmed to USA TODAY that the canine died in the plane’s cargo hold during the 11-hour transatlantic flight on March 19.
“The dog’s owner has been notified and we express our condolences,” the statement reads. “In cooperation with the local health authority in the US, the CDC, the dog was initially examined to ensure there was no immediately obvious public health threat.”
The airline said that the pet was “loaded correctly according KLM’s pet policy,” adding that, “We have to wait for the results of the necropsy to determine the cause of death.”
According to KLM’s policy, small cats and dogs are allowed to travel alongside passengers in the plane’s cabin inside a suitable pet travel bag, but larger animals must travel by kennel “in a ventilated part of the hold on all KLM flights.”
“Please note that during the flight, we are not able to give pets travelling in the hold any food or water,” the airline’s policy reads.
KLM notes that pets must be shipped as cargo if a passenger is traveling with three or more animals, or if a pet and accompanying kennel weigh more than 165 pounds.
This is not the first time a beloved pet has died during a flight.
Last March, a passenger’s 10-month-old French bulldog, named Kokito, suffocated after a United Airlines flight attendant forced the owner to put the puppy in an overhead bin during a three-hour flight from Houston to New York.
United Airlines took accountability for the incident. “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them,” the company said in a statement to the USA TODAY network.
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