Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Passenger's Alleged 'Threat' Forces Sunwing Flight Back to Toronto: Airline

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Passenger's Alleged 'Threat' Forces Sunwing Flight Back to Toronto: Airline

Article excerpt

Sunwing passenger arrested after threat

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TORONTO - A Sunwing Airlines flight to Panama City was escorted by two U.S. fighter jets back to Toronto on Friday after a passenger allegedly made a "direct threat" to the aircraft, NORAD and airline officials said.

A 25-year-old suspect was arrested shortly after the plane landed at Toronto's Pearson airport at 9 a.m.

"The aircraft turned around approximately 45 minutes into the flight over West Virginia when an agitated customer made a direct threat against the aircraft," the airline said in a statement.

Flight 772 was carrying 183 passengers and a crew of six.

A spokeswoman for NORAD -- the North American Aerospace Defense Command -- confirmed that two of its F-16 fighter jets accompanied the plane back to Canada.

Capt. Jennifer Stadnyk said the jets were already in the air doing exercise flight training near Toledo, Ohio and they "shadowed" the passenger plane back to Toronto as a "precautionary measure."

Peel police said they have charged Ali Shahi with uttering threats and endangering the safety of an aircraft. …

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