A 28-year-old man, James Potok, who made a false claim that he had coronavirus, causing a Toronto-to-Jamaica WestJet flight to return to the airport, has explained why he did it.

Mr. Potok, who has been arrested and charged with mischief and breach of recognizance, told Global News that he did it because he was looking to “get a viral video” to boost his profile as an artist, but admits the stunt was in “poor taste.”

Speaking to Global News, James said: “Well, I had my camera with me. I was looking to get a viral video. I was looking to get it up on all the social media platform”

In a statement, WestJet said Flight 2702, with 243 passengers on board, was on its way to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay on Monday when the flight was disrupted by an “unruly guest.”

According to Peel Regional Police, Mr Potok will appear in court on March 9.