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Fourth PIA flight attendant has gone missing during layover

written by Hannah Dowling | February 2, 2021

PIA Airbus A310-324 shot from Dubai International (Wikimedia Commons)

A Pakistan International Airlines flight attendant has reportedly gone missing amid a layover in Toronto, Canada, making him the fourth PIA flight attendant to apparently go missing during an international layover.

The carrier has confirmed that one of its flight attendants went “missing” shortly after he arrived in Toronto aboard flight PK798 from Islamabad.

The crew were reportedly made aware of the steward’s disappearance when he failed to show up for his return leg of the journey back to Pakistan.

This is the fourth time that a PIA flight attendant has disappeared during an international layover in as many years. Three of the four runaway flight attendants disappeared in Toronto.

Last July, a PIA flight attendant never showed up for his return leg to Pakistan. When called by fellow staff, he allegedly informed them he was driving to another city and then turned off his phone.

Similarly, in 2018, a PIA flight attendant claimed asylum during his own layover in Toronto, and never joined his crew on the return flight to Pakistan.

Meanwhile in 2019, another PIA flight attendant disappeared during a layover, this time in Paris. She allegedly left a handwritten resignation letter in her hotel room before fleeing to Belgium.


In a statement, the airline said it would launch its own investigation into the matter.

The carrier also stated that Canadian immigration authorities have been notified that the flight attendant is in Canada without a valid visa.

Following the now four incidents of staff deserting their role and “slipping away” during international layovers, PIA has now stated it will confiscate the passports of all crew members upon arrival overseas.

PIA general manager flight services Aamir Bashir issued the new guidelines to staff, stating they are a direct result of such “incidents” of cabin crew “slipping away” while overseas on layovers.

According to a report by Dawn, passports of all cabin crew are to be kept in custody of the station manager as soon as they clear immigration and customs checks following their arrival in a foreign country.

Bashir said that passports are then to be returned to cabin crew at the time of check-in for the return leg to Pakistan.

Another directive has reportedly been issued that will see hotel security staff ensure all members of cabin crew check in to their accommodation, and any discrepancies be reported.

Further, citing the pandemic, instructions restricting the movement of cabin crew have also been issued, with crew no longer be able to leave the hotel premises at night.

PIA has spent months enthralled in scandal since hundreds of its pilots were accused of gaining their licences under false pretenses, by hiring a “dummy candidate” to sit their written exams in their place.

The accusations were made following the investigation into a plane crash in Karachi that killed 97 people, after the crash was ruled to be caused by human error.

Since the licensing scandal, many jurisdictions around the globe have introduced temporary bans on PIA operations until the airline can appropriately meet international safety guidelines.


  • phodge


    It’s not surprising that a Pakistani national should wish to escape from his airline AND country!

  • Peter


    Illegal immigrants. Why flights full of returning citizens on vacation who often stay in Pakistan living off welfare from their adopted country.

  • Peter


    I’m wondering if it’s an opportunity taken to seek asylum on the basis of apostasy or sexual orintation.

Comments are closed.


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