Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) issued new directives on Monday for its cabin crew that include confiscation of passports on arrival abroad in a bid to control recent incidents of staff "slipping away" in other countries.
PIA General Manager Flight Services Aamir Bashir issued the new guidelines and said "the steps have been taken in view of the incidents of cabin staff slipping [away in other countries]."
A PIA spokesperson acknowledged that there had been two recent incidents of cabin crew going missing in Canada, adding that the matter was reported to Canadian immigration authorities.
According to an email about the new rules, seen by Dawn.com, passports of the cabin crew would be kept in the custody of the station manager after they clear immigration and customs checks post arrival in other countries.
The passports would be returned at the time of check-in on departing flights, Bashir said.
The second directive issued concerns cabin crew mobility and security. It says hotel security would be activated to ensure that every member of the cabin crew checks in on arrival and any discrepancy in staff can be reported by hotel staff.
The new rules also say that due to the prevailing pandemic situation, mobility of cabin crew would be restricted and they would not be allowed to stay out of hotel premises at night.
PIA steward goes missing in Canada
These measures come in place after Dawn reported that a PIA flight steward went missing in Canada soon after the airline’s flight PK-798 landed in Toronto on Friday.
According to sources, the steward boarded the PIA flight from Islamabad and disappeared after reaching Toronto. The matter was brought to the notice of PIA’s station manager in Canada who later informed the airport authority about the flight attendant’s absence without intimating his seniors.
The sources said the airline management had taken notice of the matter and launched a departmental inquiry into disappearance of the crew member. PIA also informed the Canadian immigration authorities about the missing crew member.