The curious case of missing Pakistan Airlines cabin crew | World News - Hindustan Times

The curious case of missing Pakistan Airlines cabin crew

ByVaishnawi Sinha
Mar 04, 2024 04:01 PM IST

A second flight attendant from Pakistan Airlines has vanished after landing in Canada.

Pakistan International Airlines made headlines recently when a member of its cabin crew vanished after the flight landed in Canada. Now, a second case has come to light where another flight attendant slipped away after the Pakistani flight landed in Toronto.

In multiple cases, PIA air hostesses went to Canada but never came back (HT Photo)
In multiple cases, PIA air hostesses went to Canada but never came back (HT Photo)

On Thursday, February 29, steward Jibran Baloch ended his shift on the PIA flight PK-792, but did not board the return flight to Pakistan from Toronto, failing to report for duty.

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The PIA staff in Toronto checked his hotel room, and found that Baloch had slipped away, vanishing in Canada. This is the second such incident in the span of a week.

Before this, a PIA flight air hostess named Maryam Raza disappeared in a similar fashion. Last week on Tuesday, Maryam didn't board her return flight to Karachi. When her colleagues looked for her, all they found in her hotel room was her uniform and a piece of paper which read, “thank you PIA.”

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Why are PIA crew members disappearing?

Pakistan's cabin crew members are seeking refuge in Canada as their home country continues to grapple with an economic crisis.

According to the official website of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the UN refugee agency, said, “You can ask for asylum when you arrive in Canada at the airport.”

It further added, “If you are fleeing your country because you fear persecution or risk to your life, you can apply for asylum in Canada. If you are granted asylum, you will receive refugee status and the right to stay. To apply for asylum, you must be physically present in Canada or be seeking entry into the country at a point of entry (airport, land border, or seaport).”

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PIA has taken steps to prevent such incidents from happening again, and is asking its staff to submit their passport with the airline when flying abroad. However, the new rule has failed to act as a deterrent.

Such incidents are not uncommon in Pakistan. In 2022, four members of the PIA cabin crew vanished and slipped away from their flight after seeking asylum in Canada.

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