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Unruly Israeli passenger causes flight to divert to Canada

Man arrested and charged after Austrian Airlines plane from Vienna to New York forced to land in Newfoundland

Illustrative photo of an an Austrian Airline plane. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90
Illustrative photo of an an Austrian Airline plane. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90

ST. JOHN’S, Canada — A 35-year-old Israeli man was scheduled Monday to appear before the provincial court in St. John’s, Newfoundland, after his unruly behavior caused an Austrian Airlines flight from Vienna to New York to divert to Canada.

CBC News reported the man, who was not named in media reports, was charged with causing a disturbance, uttering threats and violating the Aeronautics Act — the Canadian law governing civil aviation.

Police say they were called to St. John’s International Airport after the plane landed Sunday.

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers removed the passenger from the plane and he was taken to the Health Sciences Center to be seen by a doctor.

In June 2015, another Israeli passenger, Yossi Davidov, was taken off an Austrian Airlines flight from Austria to Israel for unruly behavior and for mistreating a flight attendant.

Davidov, a cinematographer, was removed from the plane along with three photographers with whom he was traveling from Vienna to Tel Aviv. He was arrested in Vienna and swiftly released, with help by the head of the Bucharian Jewish community in Vienna, after paying a 100 euro fine.

Davidov said that his behavior was provoked by a Muslim flight attendant who singled him out because he was Jewish.

He later apologized for his behavior and told Channel 2 that although the flight attendant provoked him by discriminating against him, he regretted his disproportionate response that led to his arrest.

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