The World Forum - June 22nd, 2024

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Airline flight attendants are ‘vanishing’ after landing at Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario

 In what officials with Pakistan’s national airline say is an ongoing issue, another of its flight attendants has seemingly “vanished” after landing on a flight at Pearson Airport in Mississauga.

A spokesperson for Pakistan International Airlines told media last week that the latest disappearance of a cabin crew member at Pearson occurred on Jan. 19.

A flight attendant on board PIA Flight PK-781 that had arrived from Islamabad that day got off the plane as usual and was scheduled to depart the following day for Karachi, Pakistan via Flight PK-784, The Jerusalem Post reported.

However, she didn’t show up for the return flight “and disappeared,” according to reports.

That incident comes on the heels of at least seven similar disappearances experienced by PIA in 2023 upon landing at Pearson.

The spate of disappearances has been attributed, according to some reports, to low salaries for PIA flight crews and their fear that the carrier will be privatized.

However, The Jerusalem Post reports that the airline attributes the disappearances to Canada’s liberal asylum policies and it reportedly has attempted to stem the tide by raising the minimum wage for flight attendants travelling to Canada.

PIA, Pakistan’s flagship carrier, has reportedly set up a task force to investigate the disappearances.

In late December, two other PIA flight attendants are said to have vanished upon arrival at Pearson from Lahore, Pakistan. And in the early part of that month, yet another cabin crew member reportedly pulled a similar disappearing act once their flight touched down at the airport.

Last November, two other flight attendants vanished once at Pearson after a flight from Islamabad.

A number of others in the months leading up to late fall 2023 are reported to have similarly disappeared once on Canadian soil.

The Jerusalem Post reports the Pakistan Airlines official as also saying that flight attendants or other airline employees who attempt to “abandon duty” in similar fashion will face strict repercussions including being fired.

The disappearances of the airline’s flight attendants are not unique to Pearson Airport/Toronto.

According to reports, similar incidents have occurred after PIA flights landed in Paris and other parts of Europe in recent years.