Dawn reports that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will start confiscating crew passports during layovers, after a flight attendant went missing in Toronto… again.
PIA crew members keep going “missing”
Over the weekend a PIA flight attendant went “missing” in Toronto. PK798 operated from Lahore to Toronto, and the crew had a layover there. Everything seemed fine until the crew was supposed to work the flight back to Pakistan, at which point one of the flight attendants didn’t show up.
The airline has launched in inquiry into the situation, and has also reported this to Canadian immigration authorities.
This is the second time in about six months that a crew member didn’t show up for the return flight out of Toronto. In July 2020, a PIA flight attendant also went “missing” during a layover in Toronto. In the previous incident the flight attendant had informed the airline he would be going to another city, and at that point he become unreachable.
Even the incident last July wasn’t the first time that this had happened during a layover in Toronto.
PIA will now hold onto crew passports
Given how often the same thing has happened, it appears that PIA will finally be changing its protocols. Going forward, PIA flight attendants in foreign countries will have their passports held onto for the duration of their layovers.
After they clear immigration upon arrival, the airport station manager will hold onto crew passports, and they won’t be returned until crews check-in for the return flight.
On top of that, PIA will require hotel security at layover hotels to make sure that crews check-in on arrival, and will also require crews to stay in the hotel at night during layovers.
Of course none of these protocols completely eliminate the possibility of an event like this being repeated, though without a passport it certainly complicates things.
A Pakistan International Airlines flight attendant went “missing” during a layover in Toronto, which is the second time in recent months that this has happened. Hopefully the flight attendant is okay, and I feel bad for whatever caused them to likely choose to (likely) flee.
Given this, PIA will start holding onto crew passports during layovers, and will add additional security checks at layover hotels.