Flight attendant with multiple passports arrested in Canada after previous warning about smuggling contraband

Reports say attendant arrived March 28 on a flight from Lahore to Toronto and was arrested by Canadian immigration authorities

The latest in a string of “disappearing” flight attendants from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) did not simply walk away and vanish during a Toronto layover, but was arrested for carrying multiple passports, several news agencies are reporting.

Sources also told The Express Tribune that two other attendants on the same flight were questioned by authorities before being allowed to leave for the hotel where they stayed before flying back to Pakistan on another flight the next day.

Just one month ago, a PIA crew member left her uniform and a brief thank-you note to her employer in a Toronto hotel room before disappearing. It’s at least the second time this year such an incident has happened, and the tenth time in the last two years.

The disappearances are something of an embarrassing trend for the airline, which has seen financial and credibility losses in recent years, and a deadly crash in 2020. Other disappearances go back to at least 2018.

The pattern is the same: the crew member leaves the plane with his or her colleagues but fails to show up for the scheduled return flight. Police and immigration officials are notified, and a PIA spokesperson confirms the incident and says they have contacted authorities and are investigating. The missing crew member is fired and loses all benefits with the airline.

Last year PIA announced it was implementing stricter measures to keep track of its employees on flights to Canada and Europe. It set an age limit for flight attendants on those routes, requiring them to be 50 or older, presumably on the assumption that younger people might be more likely to stray. It is also expected to require more frequent check-ins and better communications from staff members during layovers.

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