Air Canada: Two Aircraft Diverted Over Assault Case (Flight Attendant Bitten!) & Severe Turbulence With Injuries


This was a rough wednesday for Air Canada who saw two of their aircraft diverted in isolated cases, one of which saw 21 passengers injured after severe turbulence.

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The aircraft was diverted to Calgary where passengers were given medical attention while a second Air Canada flight returned to Toronto after a passenger bit a flight attendant in the finger.

Two vastly different incidents but both brought Air Canada in the news nevertheless. The most severe without doubt is the one where passengers got injured during turbulence.

Air Canada Flight 88 was en route from Shanghai to Toronto when it hit turbulence that catapulted passengers who did not wear their seat belts through the cabin.

You can find details on the story on Globalnews Canada (access here).

Severe turbulence violently rocked Air Canada Flight AC088 Wednesday 30th December, forcing the plane to land at Calgary International Airport with scores of passengers reporting injuries.

Emergency crews were at the airport to meet the plane, which landed at 3:23 p.m. MT. Twenty-five people were assessed, and 21 taken to hospital. Among the injured were three children.

Passenger Connie Gelber said anything, or anyone, not strapped down went flying.

“Like you see in the movies, where they all go up to the ceiling, everything went up to the ceiling that wasn’t anchored,” said Gelber. “It’s a lesson to be learned to all of you — put your seatbelts on even when it’s sunshine.” …

All injuries are considered non-life-threatening. Seven passengers suffered possible neck or back injuries. At least eight passengers were taken off the plane on stretchers by medical personnel.

The plane, a Boeing 777, was en route from Shanghai to Toronto. The flight was due to arrive in Toronto at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Air Canada’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Klaus Goersch, acknowledged the incident in this statement released Wednesday night.

In an unrelated matter, a 47 Alberta resident named Jaskaran Sidhu was arrested after his altercation with a flight attending during which he bit her finger caused the flight to return to Toronto’s Pearson airport. Air Canada flight AC70 was scheduled to go to New Delhi, India.

Information about this can be found on CTV News (see here).

An Alberta man is facing charges after a flight attendant was assaulted early Wednesday, forcing an Air Canada flight bound for New Delhi to return back to Toronto. Police say a 47-year-old man was arrested and charged after “assaultive and belligerent behaviour towards a flight attendant” while aboard Flight AC70.

Witnesses said the disruptive passenger used abusive language during the incident, which happened just after 12:30 a.m., as the plane was travelling over the east coast. …

Passengers told CTV Toronto that an argument broke out in the cabin, and one said she saw a man push the flight attendant.

Another woman said she heard the attendant shouting, “He bit my finger! He bit my finger! Look at my bloody finger.” Passenger Manveer Kaur said she wasn’t near the alleged incident, but recalled seeing a crew member’s finger bleeding.

Passengers were told there was a medical issue, and the flight had to return to Toronto. When it arrived, 47-year-old Jaskaran Sidhu was arrested and charged with two counts of mischief.

The Alberta resident was also charged with assault causing bodily harm and endangering the safety of an aircraft. Sidhu appeared in a Toronto courtroom on Wednesday afternoon, and was released on bail. His next appearance was scheduled for Jan. 25.

Unfortunately there is little information as to what exactly happened other than that the flight incurred long delays ahead of time already due to several delays, most of which were weather related.


Passengers should always wear their seat belts when not giving up. It appears than many people didn’t follow this rule and were shook up quite a bit. Safety briefings mention all the time to fasten your seat belt at all times as well. Considering the severity of the case the passengers in question can be lucky not having sustained further injuries.

As far as the other matter is concerned, flights to India are among the worst I have ever experienced even though mainland China ones are pretty bad too. Maybe passenger became frustrated and impatient due to the delays and then this guy blew a fuse!? There is absolutely no justification in biting or generally assaulting other people.