A pilot taxis a Westjet Boeing 737-700 plane to a gate after arriving at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on Monday February 3, 2014. The proposed acquisition of WestJet Airlines by Onex Corp. moved a step closer to completion after Canada’s transportation regulator determined the airline will continue to meet Canadian ownership and control requirements. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Man arrested after making fake coronavirus claim on Westjet flight leaving Toronto

A 29-year-old man has been charged with mischief

A WestJet flight from Toronto to Jamaica had to turn back Monday after the airline says a passenger made an “unfounded claim regarding coronavirus.”

The airline said in a statement that 243 passengers aboard Flight 2702 were on their way to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay when the flight was disrupted by an ”unruly guest.”

The plane returned to Toronto, where law enforcement and paramedics were waiting, WestJet said.

WestJet said that “out of an abundance of caution,” the flight crew followed all protocols for infectious disease on board.

The airline said flights 2702 and 2703 were cancelled as a result of the incident, but two additional flights were scheduled Tuesday morning to make up for it — one leaving Toronto and one returning from Montego Bay.

The company declined to comment further on the incident, citing the police investigation.

Peel regional police said a 29-year-old man from Thornhill, Ont., has been charged with mischief in connection with the incident. His name has not been publicly released, but police said he is due in court March 9.

READ MORE: New coronavirus has infected more than 20,600 globally

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