Pakistan Airlines Flight Attendant “Disappears” In Toronto (Again)

Pakistan Airlines Flight Attendant “Disappears” In Toronto (Again)

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A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight attendant has “disappeared” in Toronto, and unfortunately this isn’t the first time.

PIA flight attendant goes missing during layover

A PIA flight attendant has gone missing during a layover in Toronto. Specifically, on October 14, 2022, a flight attendant operated flight PK781 from Islamabad (ISB) to Toronto (YYZ). The flight attendant was scheduled to operate the return flight on Sunday, October 16, 2022, but didn’t show up. At that point he was reported as missing.

This was confirmed by PIA’s general manager of corporate communications:

“One of our crew Mr. Ijaz Shah who operated as operating crew on PK781 of 14Oct went missing after the flight.”

The man has now been reported to the Canada Border Services Agency. Of course we’ve seen some bad things happen to flight attendants around the globe, so we hope he’s okay. However, given the history of PIA crews going missing, I think it’s likely that this was intentional.

A PIA flight attendant has “disappeared” in Toronto

This is a pretty common occurrence at PIA

This isn’t the first time that this has happened at Pakistan International Airlines. Heck, this is the fourth time it has happened since 2018 in Toronto alone:

  • In 2018, a PIA flight attendant went “missing” during a layover in Toronto, and didn’t show up for the return flight
  • In 2020, a PIA flight attendant went “missing” during a layover in Toronto; when contacted by the airline, he said he was going to another city, and then became unreachable
  • In 2021, a PIA flight attendant went “missing” during a layover in Toronto, and didn’t show up for the return flight

After the previous incident, PIA claimed it would change protocols to avoid these issues going forward. Specifically, the airline pledged to hold onto crew passports during layovers, and require hotel security to make sure crews check-in, stay the night, etc.

I’m not sure if these protocols were ever introduced, but of course even that will only do so much. If someone wants to escape and is happy to ditch their passport, then there’s nothing the airline can do.

At least in each of these cases, this was done during a layover, and didn’t impact any other people at the airline directly. Contrast that to the 2014 incident where an Ethiopian Airlines pilot hijacked his own plane in order to seek asylum in Switzerland.

Bottom line

A Pakistan Airlines flight attendant has disappeared in Toronto for the fourth time in recent years. It seems pretty clear that these are just people looking for a new life in another country.

It’s pretty interesting how this happens so often in Toronto — I wonder if this comes down to Canada having good laws for those seeking asylum, if it’s a country people just want to settle in for a better life, or if it happens just as much in other countries, but isn’t reported.

What do you make of PIA’s “disappearing” employees in Toronto?

(Tip of the hat to Paddle Your Own Kanoo)

Conversations (21)
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  1. SN Guest

    Probably it is still a rotten country!

  2. Wasim Guest

    pakistan has become highly extremist country recently with mullahs taking over pakistan towards talibanization its a threat to the world that must be condemned and stopped also minorities are being killed and authorities do not even arrest the mullahs who do the killing so people
    Who escape must be given protection by any civilized society go ask any Christian Hindu Ahmadi or even shia majority how their life is of no value in pakistan

  3. Derek Durbridge see Guest

    Pick them up,deport them and sack them

    1. Wasim Guest

      There are Geneva conventions to protect people needing asylum
      How can you be so inconsiderate

    2. red_robbo Guest

      What do you mean, "sack them"?
      They've already quit!

  4. Freedom Lover Guest

    They escape because they might be facing serious issues in Pakistan such as religious persecution, threat to life, ethnic and religious hatred and economic crisis. They must be protected by asylum and allowed to have a safe heaven where they along with their family can live in peace and be safe

  5. Mara Guest

    Maybe they are terrorists not asylum-seekers.

    1. HkCaGu Guest

      They must be commando. As in wearing only outerwear.

  6. Euro Aviation Guest

    Reminds me of Mikhail Baryshnikov who defected in Toronto as well. Of course, he didn't work for an airline.

  7. iamhere Guest

    This post is written like an American not in context to what goes on in the rest of the world and why someone would do this.

  8. Never In Doubt Guest

    “unfortunately this isn’t the first time”

    I’d say it’s likely quite fortunate for the crew members who skip out.

  9. DenB Diamond

    "Hold his passport" hahaha. In any civilized country it is a serious crime, punishable by imprisonment, to possess another person's passport. there aren't exceptions. And how exactly will the "company" gain possession of it? The travelling flight attendant must hold his own passport to hand it over to Immigration at the airport. After that inspection, he is in a facility controlled and guarded by CBSA, whose responsibility is to enforce all laws about passports and...

    "Hold his passport" hahaha. In any civilized country it is a serious crime, punishable by imprisonment, to possess another person's passport. there aren't exceptions. And how exactly will the "company" gain possession of it? The travelling flight attendant must hold his own passport to hand it over to Immigration at the airport. After that inspection, he is in a facility controlled and guarded by CBSA, whose responsibility is to enforce all laws about passports and borders. How exactly does the "company" get hold of his passport if he just walks away after Immigration says "Welcome to Canada"? If a passport exists with your name on it and it was issued to you and it's valid, anyone other than an immigration officer must return it to you upon demand. It's part of the Conventions. Yeah, so holding FA's passports is not the answer. Franlly, given how many FAs are either women or gay men, I'm surprised it's only 4 who did a runner in my city. Welcome to Canada.

    1. STEFFL Member

      i have to correct you . . . taking a Crewmembers Passport is commom sense in some countries when entering without a Visa.
      e.g. Saudi Arabia and especially on Haj Charterflights, Airline Crew has to hand over the passport at the airport and gets that back once leaving the country again.
      THIS is an act by the Saudi government and NOT the airline, so there is some other places in this civilized and...

      i have to correct you . . . taking a Crewmembers Passport is commom sense in some countries when entering without a Visa.
      e.g. Saudi Arabia and especially on Haj Charterflights, Airline Crew has to hand over the passport at the airport and gets that back once leaving the country again.
      THIS is an act by the Saudi government and NOT the airline, so there is some other places in this civilized and befriended country of the US, that DOES JUST THAT, . . . . take your passport until you leave the country again.

    2. Jerry Diamond

      It's one thing for immigration officials to hold it. It's quite another thing for a fellow member of the crew to hold it.

    3. LEo Diamond

      A representative of the airline likely will hold it, happens commonly in LEDCs.

    4. PIA IS RUN BY CROOKS Guest

      Den, The Captain of the Cargo & Passenger ships hold's onto the crew's Passport upon arriving at the US Ports. CBP asks the C/M
      or the Captain for securing the passports just in case crew wants to Jump ship. Crew has to have a shore pass/Seaman's Book to go out of US Ports, But NO PASSPORTS. and this is in the USA.

  10. SS Guest

    So what happened to the disappearing flight attendants on the previous 3 occasions? Any info on whether they got asylum in Canada or were deported or something else happened ?? As this is happening repeatedly my guess is that it’s a viable route to obtain a PR in Canada!

  11. Brandon Biden Guest

    Not a fan of Pakistan's Gov't, PIA or the ISI. Having said that,
    I'm shocked that it doesn't happen daily, or from dozens of other countries.

  12. iv Guest

    Canada is a very welcoming country. This is not only happening with airline crews but athletes as-well during PanAm Games and Olympics.

  13. JB Guest

    Canada has good immigration and asylum seeking laws and welcomes immigrants. Toronto is the best destination for PIA crews to seek asylum based on where it currently flies (its the only city in the west PIA currently flies to with its own crew, and it is easier to seek asylum in Canada than in the UK/Europe, or any other destination PIA serves).

    1. D M Guest

      Large Pakistani diaspora in Toronto, also.

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Never In Doubt Guest

“unfortunately this isn’t the first time” I’d say it’s likely quite fortunate for the crew members who skip out.

5
iamhere Guest

This post is written like an American not in context to what goes on in the rest of the world and why someone would do this.

3
Freedom Lover Guest

They escape because they might be facing serious issues in Pakistan such as religious persecution, threat to life, ethnic and religious hatred and economic crisis. They must be protected by asylum and allowed to have a safe heaven where they along with their family can live in peace and be safe

1
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