Bhoja Air 737: Ambition was sky high for flight attendant Princess Flavia

Published: April 23, 2012

Princess Flavia, 26, wanted to move on to work with reputable international airlines. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Princess Flavia was royalty in more than just name. She was the most pampered child in her home. Her mother would serve her breakfast in bed. She owned a huge collection of elegant dresses. And she loved to dance and go to parties.

But unlike fairy tale princesses, her end was not a happy one. Flavia, 26, who worked as a flight attendant, died a tragic death. She perished with 127 other people in the Bhoja Air crash on the outskirts of the capital on Friday.

“Her life was similar to those princesses live, except for one aspect. She had a job, and princesses don’t work,” said Prince Henry, Flavia’s elder brother. Sitting in his apartment in DHA’s Bukhari commercial, Henry tried hard to fight the tears as friends and relatives streamed in with condolences.

“We were inseparable. We were best friends; we even studied in the same school.” Both of them matriculated from YMCA, after which Flavia did her intermediate and BSc from a government college. Then developed her desire to become a flight attendant. “I don’t know what inspired her to become an airhostess. But whatever the motivation was, she wasn’t ready to budge from her decision,” he shrugged.

The decision irked her father and brother. “We knew it was a risky job. We were always scared of plane crashes.” They tried to persuade her to study more but she would not listen. In between attending phone calls and explaining addresses to relatives, Henry shared that Shaheen Air was the first airline Flavia joined and where she worked for two and a half years.

Every flight of hers ended with lots of stories to share with the family. “She loved travelling and was crazy about flying to the UK where my father lives.  But she never got a chance,” he said with a small smile. Flavia, who was well known for her attractive features, also modelled for an advertisement for a pharmaceutical company alongside her brother. According to him, she was recently made an offer to model for a newly launched lawn line but he did not permit her to take this job as he wanted her to focus on one thing at a time.

She was so intent on her career that she pooh-poohed getting married. “Last Friday I told my mother to just marry her off and Flavia just laughed,” said Henry.

Flavia’s passion for her career included the goals of working for renowned airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways. But for the time being, she took what was offered to her: Bhoja Air. “The airline promised a bright future – of going onboard with jumbos. That lured Flavia into joining and she fell for their trap,” he said angrily. “Every time her flight would take off, I would call her to ask if she had landed safely. But this time her mobile was off. Her life was off.”

Christian leaders from various political parties came to condole but were shooed away by Henry. “They just wanted to make news by coming to our place. I told them that if they really wanted to help, they should set up a camp in Islamabad and facilitate those coming to take their loved ones.”

But perhaps the gravest slight was that Henry had to bring her body home on a Bhoja Air flight.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (69)

  • Neha
    Apr 23, 2012 - 5:59AM

    Devastating!!

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  • geeko
    Apr 23, 2012 - 6:36AM

    RIP… :(

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  • Faheem
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:07AM

    Very sad incident. May God give peace to her soul and strength to your family Henry to bear this irreparable loss. Our prayers are with you.

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  • Amjad
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:25AM

    I am nor sure why the ET editorial staff could not have deleted some emotional comments such as “they tricked her”. No one tricks someone when they are offered a job at a low cost airline. People join and hope to move up the ranks or move to another airline in time. This is a tragedy and the brother is using emotional language and trying to find someone to blame. This is only natural but the news staff should use some discretion and remove such comments which are inflammatory and said in the heat of the moment. Obviously such a comment makes no sense.

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  • YP Toronto
    Apr 23, 2012 - 7:36AM

    RIP, Princess Flavia.

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  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:08AM

    God bless her, she died with dignity and honour serving her guests at the airline. She died while working the job she loved most. Our prayers are with her family. She was truly a princess.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:17AM

    May God rest her soul in peace and give strength to the family members to bear this irreparable loss of precious human life. Amen.

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  • naeem hussain
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:34AM

    My best wishes are for the family.

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  • rao amjad ali
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:36AM

    May God rest her soul in peace in Heaven. Amin. And give you the courage to bear this tragedy of immeasurable proportion.

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  • BlackJack
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:09AM

    Would be convenient to readers if you could explain what these people are ‘Princess’ and ‘Prince’ of – did not know of any erstwhile Christian-ruled princely states in Pakistan. Condolences for their loss.

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  • Citizen
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:25AM

    RIP :(

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  • SJ
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:28AM

    We are very sorry for your loss. May her soul rest in peace.

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  • Ali H.
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:32AM

    The saddest thing I have read in a long time.

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  • MAD
    Apr 23, 2012 - 10:20AM

    @BlackJack: pathetic and stupid comment. The two siblings were given those names by their parents.

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  • Apr 23, 2012 - 10:42AM

    RIP

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  • Javeria Mahmood
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:12AM

    Heart Throbbing

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  • Arzoo
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:20AM

    @Amjad: It’s a devastatingly emotional time for Prince Henry, and we, the readers, can read through what he is saying, his frustrations and all. When the reporters go to interview relatives of victims in these situations, they have to coax statements out of them, because usually the mourners are in no shape to express their feelings adequately. Considering everything the brother did a marvelous job for expressing his grief, and yet highlighting Princess Flavia’s achievements. He also sounds like a very special person just like his sister. Look at it from that angle.

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  • Muhammad Bilal
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:25AM

    May Allah RIP their souls…

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  • Izza
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:38AM

    =(( It feels terrible losing our loved ones. May her soul rest in peace. Ameen =(

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  • Izza
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:39AM

    =( It’s a terrible terrible loss. May her soul rest in peace.

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  • Mansoor
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:54AM

    Beautifully written. She seems like a princess. May God bless her soul

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  • Jenai dau
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:01PM

    R.I.P princess.

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  • Asif Ijaz Hussain
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:14PM

    Very sorry for the family’s loss. RIP Princess!!

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  • Sarkish
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:27PM

    @BlackJack: Instead of asking for clarifications may be you should use some common sense if you’ve got any. The first sentence alone makes it perfectly clear Princess was her name. Even if it didn’t, why would a real princess be working as a flight attendant on Bhoja airways ?

    @ET: nice job giving a human face to one of the victims and introducing her as a person instead of just a name in a list. My deep condolences to her family and friends. I’m sure she’s happy & peaceful wherever she is now.

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  • Saad A. Shah
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:30PM

    RIP Princess!!!!!

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  • A.Saeed
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:54PM

    “Princess Flavia”, beautiful name.
    May God rest her soul in peace and give strength to the family members to bear this irreparable loss.

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  • RIP
    Apr 23, 2012 - 12:57PM

    May Jesus Christ guide her soul to heaven.

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  • Muzna
    Apr 23, 2012 - 1:09PM

    great tribune, also write on other crew

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  • SH
    Apr 23, 2012 - 1:12PM

    pooh-poohed, shooed away. really these are the words to be used in a newspaper ?

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  • Immortal
    Apr 23, 2012 - 1:15PM

    @Amjad: sorry to say, if God forbid something like this ever happens to you. I would love to see your comments then…. apart of that in whole of your comment all you can talk about is how her brother used emotional language and how ET should publish their articles. Well Mr perfect, atleast you can write once in comment “Inna Ellah Wa Inna Allah Rajeon”.
    Anways, Inna Ellah Wa Inna Allah Rajeon, May her soul rest in peace. Ameen.

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  • some one
    Apr 23, 2012 - 1:28PM

    There are 127 such sad stories…very very sad. One story gets reported, others may not get reported but the loss to 127 families is irrepairable. RIP all the 127 passengers and crew.

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  • BlackJack
    Apr 23, 2012 - 1:58PM

    @MAD:
    Dude – it was a serious question, the article mentions royalty not just in name, and I was confused. Apologies if I have hurt someone’s feelings.

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  • AWA
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:06PM

    Pothetic remarks by BLACK JACK . Princess and Prince were names given by their parent like we muslim name our children as Shahzada or shahzadi.
    May her soul rest in peace as she expired serving her guests while she was on duty.
    May all other passengers and staff who lost thier lives in this tragic event rest in peace . Ameen.

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  • Usman Shahid
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:30PM
  • Farooq Malik
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:47PM

    What a sad heart breaking…she was a brave and courageous girl who was destined to fulfil her dreams. But it was not to be. I wish and pray for her family to get sabar to deal with their loss. What a terrible tragedy for us all :(

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  • adnan alam
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:09PM

    Inna Ellah Wa Inna Allah Rajeon, May her soul rest in peace. Ameen

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  • iftikhar hussain
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:40PM

    Allah bless her

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  • Muhammad Zaheer
    Apr 23, 2012 - 4:30PM

    RIP

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  • Apr 23, 2012 - 4:45PM

    That’s really sad. Can’t imagine what he felt like.

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  • najam gardezi
    Apr 23, 2012 - 5:12PM

    its really weally sad- god bless Flavia and other plane crash victims.

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  • S Khan
    Apr 23, 2012 - 5:16PM

    Very sad, indeed! May God give the family the strength to bear this irreparable loss. Rest in peace, Princess Flavia.Recommend

  • Apr 23, 2012 - 5:22PM

    A very very sad and tragic incident. we can not imagine through which trauma their families must be passing now.. May Allah Al-Mighty grant them patience and may the departed souls rest in peace Ameen

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  • RP
    Apr 23, 2012 - 5:58PM

    Tears rolling down my face as i read this.. my sister and i are tightly knit so part of me feels his pain the thought of it makes me want to cry.. RIP pretty girl.. and May God grant your family strength and courage to bear the loss. May God grant strength to all the families who have lost their loved ones in this tragic incident.
    Very sad to see people nitpick the article and question their names.. 128 people dead drop like flies and you going to sit here and find faults in the article? Shame..

    Strength to all the families, RIP

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  • Syed Faisal
    Apr 23, 2012 - 6:49PM

    So Tragic for the family. Peace

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Apr 23, 2012 - 8:40PM

    God bless our Princess. She had small but wonderful life.

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  • Imran
    Apr 23, 2012 - 9:41PM

    Very sad news, heart felt condolence with her family. May Allah bless her soul in peace & give patience to her family. Ameen

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  • Sharoon
    Apr 23, 2012 - 10:37PM

    My cousin sis “Flavia John/Princess Flavia/Flavia Samuel”.
    Pray to God that,”May Her Soul Rest in Peace”…

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  • sajid ayub
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:40PM

    So sad.May Allah rest her soul in peace.

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  • Jude
    Apr 24, 2012 - 3:08AM

    RIP Princess Flavia and I pray that God will give the family the strength to bear this tragic loss

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  • Humera
    Apr 24, 2012 - 3:58AM

    Princess Flavia was a sweet friend…I was totally shocked to know that she is not with us anymore..and still I can hardly believe that.But i’ll always cheerish the good old memories of the time we spend together,the way she used to talk ..such a lively and carefree girl she was..always wearing that beautiful smile on her face..Miss you Flavia..May her soul rest in peace..May ALLAH give her family the strength to bear such a great loss.Ameen

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  • Bushra Khurshid
    Apr 24, 2012 - 9:13AM

    A very sad and tragic incident ,May God rest her soul in peace and give the family strength to bear this loss.

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  • Mian Adeel
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:06AM

    It’s hard 2 say Good Bye….

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  • Zeenat
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:46AM

    That is really very sad. R.I.P

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  • Jude Allen
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:59AM

    Princess Flavia. I do believe that when you pursue a passion, it never stops; and death is no obstacle. Despite your physical absence today, you will live on in the hearts of those you were close to . . and you will continue to inspire those with similar dreams as yours – It is believed that to inspire, one needs to be ALIVE. So, we need not mourn your death dear Princess when there is every reason to celebrate your life.

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  • alicia
    Apr 24, 2012 - 11:05AM

    Bhoja airline is still running?????? Curse on pakistani civil aviation authorities. They will have to pay for this if not in this world then in the next world.

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  • Tyrone Tellis
    Apr 25, 2012 - 12:55PM

    Guys ease up on Blackjack

    A bit of explanation about whether Princess was her name or nickname would have helped.

    Anyway let’s focus on the loss and act instead of only pitying the families

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  • Debbie
    Apr 25, 2012 - 3:00PM

    Loosing ur loved 1 is the saddest & painful thing u have to go through in ur life & my Deepest Sympathy goes out to Princess Flavia family & friends & all families who lost there loved ones may God give each 1 the strength & courage to bare this great loss… May God grant each 1 of them Eternal life in his Heavenly Home.. Amen

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  • cherish
    Apr 25, 2012 - 11:09PM

    RIP princess flavia , my heartily condolences to bereaved family. may God Almighty give you enough courage and strength to overcome such a great loss.

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  • Angie
    Apr 27, 2012 - 1:04AM

    May her soul RIP,may God give her family the strength to bear the pain of her loss.

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  • Naeem khan Manhattan,Kansas.
    May 1, 2012 - 5:26AM

    RIP Princess Flavia, my heart goes out to your brother and the family.

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  • Kainat
    May 22, 2012 - 10:44AM

    RIP Pretty girl

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  • May 29, 2012 - 7:01PM

    She sadly reminds me of Momi Gul who died in PIA Cairo crash.

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  • Hafeez Pasha
    May 30, 2012 - 3:51PM

    May her sould rest in peace. But “Princess Flavia” and “Prince Henry”? Give me a break!

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  • Kaleem
    Jun 2, 2012 - 5:48PM

    إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
    Inna Lillah wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’oon

    “To Allah we Belong and to Him we Return”

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  • jalal
    Jun 2, 2012 - 9:03PM

    You were a true Princess!May Allah forgive you and all of us!

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  • Jun 3, 2012 - 7:56AM

    @Amjad:
    Agreed. But there is no reason why it should not be added. We do not have to agree with his opinion but he still has the right to express them no matter how wrong they may seem.

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  • Dr Imran
    Jun 4, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Death does not mean The End
    Her sprite lives on,
    Pray that she does even better in the new place she has been transferred to.

    I cannot figure out why the plan was trying to land in a deadly storm.

    May Allah grant Heavens to all these people.

    Ignatia 200 a drop a day is the homepathic remedy also known as the Funeral remedyRecommend

  • Haris
    Jun 4, 2012 - 11:04AM

    Very Sad Accident. The culprits should be charged
    SHA

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  • abdullah
    Jun 5, 2012 - 5:33AM

    may GOD rest her soul in peace.

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