Fighter jets intercept Montreal-to-Cuba flight after passenger utters threats
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, July 6, 2017 11:16PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 7, 2017 7:17AM EDT
MONTREAL -- A Sunwing Airlines flight bound for Cuba had to return to Montreal's Trudeau International Airport on Thursday evening under a fighter jet escort due to an "unruly customer."
An airline spokeswoman said flight WG604 had departed for Cayo Coco but turned around due to the passenger making "non-specific threats."
"The flight arrived back around 7:25 p.m. and the disruptive customer was taken into police custody," said Rachel Goldrick in an email to The Canadian Press.
The passenger's name was not released, nor was the specific nature of the threats.
NORAD spokesman Lt. Commander Joe Nawrocki said a pair of U.S. Air Force F-15 jets were dispatched from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts and intercepted the aircraft near Albany, N.Y.
Canadian CF18s were also reportedly scrambled but did not take part in the operation.
Goldrick said it would be early Friday before the 170 passengers would be able to board the next flight to Cayo Coco.
"Unfortunately the next viable departure slot to operate into Cayo Coco is 4:30 a.m.," she said.
"Sunwing has provided affected customers with accommodations and meal vouchers and is very apologetic for the inconvenience."
This was the second such incident involving a North American flight on Thursday night.
Officials say a Delta Airlines flight bound for Beijing returned to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a passenger assaulted a flight attendant.
Airport spokesman Perry Cooper says a man in first class assaulted a flight attendant about 45 minutes into the flight and that passengers then helped restrain the man until the plane landed back in Seattle.
Officials say two people, including the flight attendant, were injured and taken to a hospital.
-- with files from The Associated Press