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PIA suspends crew member after being detained in Canada

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NewsDrum Desk
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Islamabad, Mar 30 (PTI) Pakistan's ailing flag carrier PIA has suspended a crew member after she was briefly detained by Canadian customs authorities along with two others for carrying the passport of an unrelated person, according to a media report on Saturday.

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The incident comes as Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) grapples with flight attendants' disappearances amid a crew shortage.

Hina Sani was detained along with two other crew members who were also on duty with her on flight PK-789 from Lahore to Toronto, the Dawn newspaper reported.

However, the three crew members were later freed and allowed to travel back to Pakistan following investigations.

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Later, the PIA management suspended Sani and announced it would take further action in line with the Canadian customs’ investigation report, the report said.

It is against international law to carry someone else’s passport while travelling abroad.

PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan said the airline management was in touch with the Canadian authorities and cooperating with them in the case. He said the suspended crew member would face further departmental and legal action in light of the Canadian authorities’ inquiry report.

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The spokesman said the three female crew members freed by the Canadian customs authorities after investigation would return to Pakistan on Saturday.

Last month, PIA crew member Maryam Raza, who was on duty, slipped away after landing in Canada.

According to the PIA, at least eight flight attendants disappeared over the last year and a half.

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They have abandoned their jobs and are believed to have sought asylum in Canada, a spokesperson for the government-owned airline told Canada's CTV News.

PIA spokesman Khan said at least eight flight attendants "have gone missing" after flying to Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

He said these incidents have been happening over the last 10 years, but are now occurring more frequently.

"Since probably October of 2022, the number of the people that have opted for asylum has increased tremendously," Khan said in an interview with CTV News from Karachi, where the airline is based. PTI NSA AKJ NSA NSA

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