By: Laura Armstrong
The Mississauga man charged after an incident on a Sunwing flight from Toronto to Panama Friday was released on $1,000 bail Saturday afternoon.
Ali Shahi, 25, faces several charges including mischief to property, endangering the safety of an aircraft and uttering threats.
Sunwing Airlines says its plane turned around about 45 minutes into the flight Friday morning after a passenger allegedly made a “direct threat” to the aircraft.
Two fighter jets from NORAD were dispatched to escort the flight, carrying 183 passengers and a crew of six, back to Pearson airport.
Cellphone video footage from passengers on board that was broadcast on several television networks showed heavily armed SWAT team officers storming aboard the plane to arrest the passenger.
After several hours’ delay, the Sunwing flight took off again for Panama.
As part of his release, Shahi, who was dressed in a coral t-shirt and grey sweatpants at his hearing, must reside with his surety, cannot possess or acquire any weapons or weapons licences, is not allowed to board any aircraft or be present at Pearson airport. He must attend court as required and tell his sureties about his court date.
Evidence from Saturday’s hearing is protected under a publication ban.
Shahi will be back in court Aug. 25.