On a layover in Toronto, a female flight attendant has become the latest Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crewmember to have disappeared in Canada.
A spokesperson for the airline told various media outlets that Faiza Mukhtar, a flight attendant employed by PIA, was on duty for flight PK 781 from Islamabad International Airport (ISB) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). The flight landed in Toronto on January 18, 2024.
Mukhtar was scheduled to depart the following day to work on flight PK 784 from Toronto Airport to Karachi International Airport (KHI).
However, Mukhtar did not show up for duty and could not be located.
Unfortunately, flight attendants ‘disappearing’ is not an unusual situation for Pakistan International Airlines. Over the last two years, at least eight flight attendants have vanished during the airline’s layovers in Canada.
In December 2023, the airline imposed stricter rules on its flights to Canada, including rostering only flight attendants over the age of 50, and stricter monitoring of crew during layovers.
The airline, through its spokesperson, attributed the disappearances to Canada’s lenient immigration policies and liberal asylum procedures.
“There is no failure [on the part of the airline] as we have tried to put in the most stringent possible efforts to curtail that. However, the laws of Canada are so liberal that those measures become counter-effective,” the spokesperson told Middle East media outlet The Media Line.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Canada does not deport asylum seekers to certain countries that it believes are not safe.