Police say, a WestJet flight from Vancouver to Toronto made a landing in Winnipeg on Sunday afternoon around 2:25 p.m. because of a disruptive passenger.
The RCMP said Balvir Singh, a 60 year old Surrey resident lit a cigarette and didn't abide by instructions of the flight crew. Smoking on an aircraft and not complying by instructions on the plane carries a fine of $5000 and $3000. In addition, when asked to wear a mask for personal safety and the safety of others he refused to do so. The penalty for not wearing a mask is $5000.
“We sincerely apologized for the delay and interruption to our guests travel plans who were affected by the diversion and unfortunate situation,” a spokesperson for WestJet said a statement. “The flight had to get more fuel before departing again for YYZ.”
Transport Canada put out a mandatory requirement that all passengers wear a non-medical face mask or covering during a flight.
“In support of the directive, it is mandatory for guests to wear protective face coverings throughout their travel journey, including at the airport and while in flight,” reads a portion of the WestJet statement. “In addition and per the directive, travellers are required to show that they have a suitable face covering prior to boarding a WestJet flight.”
According to WestJet’s website, flight WS 706 departed from Winnipeg at 3:24 p.m. for Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The website says the flight is more than an hour and a half delayed.
The man was taken into custody but has since been released on bail.
None of the charges have been tested in court.