Pakistan Airlines flight attendant flies to Canada, leaves note and disappears

Last year, at least seven PIA cabin crew members went missing in Canada. (Representative photo)

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) cabin crew member flew to Canada on Tuesday, but she suddenly disappeared after landing, according to Pakistan News Agency. Dawn reported. The flight attendant has been identified as Maryam Raza. She landed in Toronto, Canada on Monday on PIA flight PK-782 from Islamabad. However, she did not report for work on the return flight, PK-784, to Karachi. Notably, Ms. Raza is one of several PIA employees who have “disappeared” in Canada in recent years.

According to Dawn, Ms Raza joined the national airline 15 years ago. She was assigned to fly from Islamabad to Toronto on Monday. But after landing in Canada on Tuesday, the PIA crew member failed to show up for work on her flight back to Karachi a day later. When authorities began searching for Ms. Raza, they opened her hotel room and found her PIA uniform along with a note reading “Thank you, PIA.”

An airline spokesperson said Raza’s disappearance was the second such case this year where a PIA flight attendant disappeared upon arrival in Canada. Last month, another PIA flight crew member, Fazia Mukhtar, suddenly disappeared in a similar manner. The media outlet reported that Ms Mukhtar was due to return to Karachi a day after landing in Canada, but she did not board the flight and disappeared.

Officials attributed the trend to the accommodating nature of Canadian law, which allows asylum applications after entering the country.

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According to the report, the trend of Pakistani flight attendants disappearing after landing in Canada began in 2019. Last year, at least seven PIA cabin crew members went missing in Canada while carrying out their duties flight.

In November, Dawn reported that two senior flight attendants had fled to Canada, shortly after a PIA flight from Islamabad landed in Toronto. The flight attendants, identified as Khalid Mehmood and Feda Hussain, reached Canada from Islamabad by PIA flight PK772. Upon arriving in Toronto, they fled instead of returning to the country, a PIA spokesperson said.

The carrier’s spokesperson said one of the crew members who absconded while on duty several years ago has now settled in Canada and is “advising” another member of crew to think about asylum. He added that PIA management has coordinated with Canadian authorities to stop such incidents in the future.

Robert Butler

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