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This article was published 19/6/2020 (489 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A B.C. man faces multiple charges after his allegedly unruly behaviour aboard a Toronto-bound WestJet flight caused it to be diverted to Winnipeg on Sunday.
Police say the 60-year-old Surrey resident lit a cigarette during the flight and refused to follow the instructions of the flight crew, including wearing a protective face mask.
Balvir Singh has been charged with mischief over $5,000, smoking on an aircraft, and two counts of failing to comply with directions of a flight crew.
WestJet spokeswoman Morgan Bell said the plane refuelled in Winnipeg before resuming its flight to Toronto.
"We sincerely apologized for the delay and interruption to our guests’ travel plans who were affected by the diversion and unfortunate situation," Morgan wrote in an email.
Singh was released on $3,000 bail Wednesday. His next court date is July 16.
Winnipeg is a frequent landing point for diverted flights, given the city’s distance from other major airports, said Winnipeg Airport Authority spokesman Tyler MacAfee.
In February, a man and woman from the United Kingdom were sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $100,000 each after their drunken escapades aboard a plane bound for Los Cabos, Mexico, forced pilots to divert to Winnipeg.