Sunwing passenger gets bail after in-flight scuffle
Published Thursday, August 28, 2014 7:41AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 6:21PM EDT
A Sunwing passenger was granted bail Thursday afternoon after allegedly disrupting a Cuba-bound plane and forcing it to return to Toronto, with the accompaniment of two military jets.
The female passenger was one of two people allegedly involved in the incident.
The pair were in a Brampton court Thursday for a bail hearing.
Sunwing Flight 656 turned back when two "unruly" passengers allegedly became disruptive after consuming a "significant" quantity of duty free alcohol in the plane's washroom, airline spokesperson Janine Chapman said Wednesday.
The passengers then lit a cigarette, triggering the plane's smoke alarm, before getting into a "physical altercation" with each other, Chapman said.
The two also allegedly made a "threat against the aircraft, which was considered non-credible given their condition."
Flight 656 was bound for Varadero, Cuba, but the pilot decided to turn the plane around over South Carolina.
NORAD confirmed Wednesday that two CF-18 fighter jets from Canadian Forces Base Bagotville escorted the passenger plane back to Toronto's Pearson Airport as a "precautionary measure." The CF-18s did not cross into U.S. airspace, NORAD said.
Once the plane landed at Pearson, Peel region police officers boarded the aircraft at about 8:30 p.m. and escorted the women, both in their mid-20s, off the plane.
Const. Thomas Ruttan said the plane "erupted in cheers" as the two women were led off the aircraft.
Sunwing said the flight was scheduled to take off again from Pearson at approximately 11 p.m. Wednesday, and passengers would be given complimentary meal vouchers for the inconvenience.
Lilia Ratmanski, 25, of Whitby and Milana Muzikante, 26, of Vaughan are facing charges of smoking on a plane, endangering the safety of an aircraft, mischief over $5,000, mischief endangering life and uttering threats.
Ratmanski was given bail Thursday afternoon. She is scheduled to return to a Brampton courthouse on Sept. 29.
This is the second time in just over a month that a Sunwing plane travelling from Toronto has been forced to turn around.
On July 25, a Panama-bound plane returned to Pearson after a passenger allegedly made threats while aboard the aircraft.
The man was escorted off the plane by a tactical team of police officers. He was charged with counts of mischief, endangering safety, and uttering threats.