Passengers intending to fly from Canada to Panama on Friday morning were still in the air more than 15 hours later after their flight was diverted twice — first after a passenger made a threat and a SWAT team stormed aboard and again after another passenger got sick, the airline told NBC News.
Sunwing Airlines Flight 772 took off without incident from Toronto at 7:23 a.m. ET, only to turn around and return to the same airport — escorted by U.S. fighter jets — shortly before 9 a.m. after a passenger said he wanted to "bomb Canada," police said. The man, identified as Ali Shahi, 25, is to appear in an Ontario court Saturday on several charges, including endangering the safety of an aircraft.
The flight didn't take off again until almost 4 p.m. — only to be diverted again, this time to Montego Bay, Jamaica, after a passenger fainted and suffered a minor head injury, Janine Chapman, a spokeswoman for the airline, told NBC News. The jet landed in Jamaica about 8 p.m. (9 p.m. ET) and after an hour on the ground there, it once again set off for Panama City, Chapman said.
— M. Alex Johnson and Tricia Culligan
First published July 25 2014, 9:30 PM