Nearly a third of Pakistan International Airlines pilots were grounded for holding fake licences. (File)
Regulators have barred Pakistan International Airlines from europe for half a year following the state-run carrier grounded nearly a third of its pilots for holding fake or dubious licences, tuesday officials said.
EUROPE Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) told PIA “it really is still uncertain” if all of the remaining pilots are properly qualified, and “they will have lost their confidence” in the airline, PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan told AFP.
In a statement, the EASA said it had suspended PIA and an inferior private Pakistan airline “because of the recent investigation reported on in the Pakistani Parliament which revealed a large share of pilot licenses issued in Pakistan are invalid”.
PIA has only flown limited international flights for months because of the coronavirus.
A resumption of domestic operations last month was accompanied by a collision blamed on pilot error that killed 98 people.
PIA had recently resumed bookings for five European capitals cities, including Paris, Barcelona and milan.
Flights to Britain, that is no more in the EU, was not affected, Khan said.
The EU suspension may be the latest fallout for PIA following the aviation minister told parliament the other day a government review had found 262 of Pakistan’s 860 active pilots hold fake licenses or cheated on exams.
Over fifty percent of these were from PIA, and the airline said it could immediately ground 141 of its 434 pilots.
The EASA said it suspended PIA “because of concerns concerning the capacity for competent authorities to make sure that Pakistani air operators come in compliance with applicable international standards all the time”.
Prime Minister Imran Khan told parliament he’d reform PIA along with other government institutions.
“I would like to tell my nation: We’ve no other option, reforms are inevitable,tuesday ” he said.
Aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said reforms targeted at restructuring PIA will be completed by the finish of the entire year.
ON, MAY 22, a PIA flight crashed into houses in Karachi, killing all 97 people aboard the plane and a kid on the floor.
Investigators blamed two pilots, who have been chatting concerning the coronavirus while they first attemptedto land the Airbus A320 without putting its wheels down.
(Aside from the headline, this whole story is not edited by NDTV staff and is published from the syndicated feed.)
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