A flight attendant working for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has gone missing during a layover in Toronto, Canada the carrier confirmed on Sunday and Canadian immigration authorities have now been notified that the crew member is in the country without a valid visa.
The disappearance marks the fourth such time in as many years that a PIA flight attendant has gone missing during an international layover… apparently without the intention of ever returning to work for the airline or even ever returning to Pakistan.
In the latest incident, the crew member arrived in Toronto after working on PIA flight PK797 from Lahore which arrived in Canada on Friday. His disappearance came to light when the crew was due to be picked up at their hotel for the return flight to Pakistan.
In a statement, Pakistan International Airlines said it would launch an investigation. In an attempt to prevent further incidents, a spokesperson said the airline would instruct airport staff to seize crew member passports during their layover and only return them when they are due to leave the country.
Last July, a PIA flight attendant also went missing in Toronto following a flight from Islamabad. When airline staff attempted to call the flight attendant, he told them he was driving to another city and then turned off his phone.
In 2018, a third PIA flight attendant claimed asylum during his layover in Toronto and never returned to Pakistan. And in yet another incident, this time in 2019, a female PIA flight attendant known only as Shazia disappeared during a layover in Paris.
The flight attendant allegedly left a handwritten resignation note in her hotel room before fleeing to Belgium.
While relatively uncommon, flight attendants have been known to claim asylum during international layovers or simply resign and fail to turn up to work the return flight home.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.