PIA cabin crew requested to handover passports upon arrival in overseas lands

Islamabad, February 2

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has ordered its cabin crew to handover their passports to the station manager upon arrival on foreign soil, following two recent cases of staff of the ailing national carrier “slipping away” during international travels, according to a media report on Tuesday.

The directives, issued on Monday, aim to tighten security and mobility of airline staff amid the COVID-19 outbreak, officials said.

According to an official mail, accessed by the Dawn newspaper, the passports of the cabin crew would be collected by the station manager, after they clear immigration and customs upon arrival in foreign lands.

The travel IDs would be returned during check-in of departing flights, PIA General Manager, Flight Services, Aamir Bashir told the newspaper.

Among other directives issued by the national carrier, PIA staff would have to adhere to strict protocols at the hotels during overnight stopovers.

Cabin crew must check in on arrival at the hotels and any delay would be reported by the hotel staff. Further, the staff cannot leave the hotel premises at night.

Bashir said the guidelines have been issued after two incidents of crew “slipping away” upon arrival in Canada were reported.

Last Friday, a PIA steward was found loitering outside the designated hotel in Toronto.

Officials said the unchecked movement of PIA crew is a concern due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The PIA has been under the spotlight since the crash of its airliner in Karachi last year which led to the disclosure by the Aviation Ministry that dozens of local pilots had fake licences. Since then a number of reformatory measures have been implemented to revive the working of the cash-strapped airline. — PTI

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