Europe Suspends Pakistan International Airlines Over Fake Pilot Licences.

Europe Suspends Pakistan International Airlines Over Fake Pilot Licences

Nearly a third of Pakistan International Airlines pilots were grounded for holding fake licences. (File)

Karachi:

Regulators have barred Pakistan International Airlines from the European Union for six months after the state-run carrier grounded nearly a third of its pilots for holding fake or dubious licences, officials said Tuesday.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) told PIA "it is still not sure" if all the remaining pilots are properly qualified, and "they have lost their confidence" in the airline, PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan told AFP.

In a statement, the EASA said it had suspended PIA and a smaller private Pakistan airline "in view of the recent investigation reported on in the Pakistani Parliament which revealed that a large share of pilot licenses issued in Pakistan are invalid".

PIA has only flown limited international flights for months as a result of the coronavirus.

A resumption of domestic operations last month was followed by a crash blamed on pilot error that killed 98 people.

PIA had recently resumed bookings for five European capitals cities, including Paris, Milan and Barcelona.

Flights to Britain, which is no longer in the EU, had not been affected, Khan said.

The EU suspension is the latest fallout for PIA after the aviation minister told parliament last week that a government review had found 262 of Pakistan's 860 active pilots hold fake licenses or cheated on exams.

More than half of them were from PIA, and the airline said it would immediately ground 141 of its 434 pilots.

The EASA said it suspended PIA "due to concerns about the capability of competent authorities to ensure that Pakistani air operators are in compliance with applicable international standards at all times".

Prime Minister Imran Khan told parliament he would reform PIA and other government institutions.

"I want to tell my nation: We have no other option, reforms are inevitable," he said Tuesday.

Aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said reforms aimed at restructuring PIA would be completed by the end of the year.

On May 22, a PIA flight crashed into houses in Karachi, killing all 97 people aboard the plane and a child on the ground.

Investigators blamed two pilots, who were chatting about the coronavirus while they first attempted to land the Airbus A320 without putting its wheels down.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Comments

Related news

At Least 11 Killed In Taliban Car Bomb Attack On Afghan Intel Office.

At least 11 security personnel were killed Monday in an attack claimed by the Taliban on a rural office of Afghanistan's intelligence agency, officials said.

US Judge Delays First Federal Execution In 17 Years.

A US judge ordered a delay on Monday of the first federal execution in the United States in 17 years, which is scheduled to be carried out later in the day.

Germany aiming to make its 6-month EU presidency ‘climate neutral,’ officials say.

The Environment Ministry said the voluntary move builds on earlier efforts by Austria and Finland to reduce the carbon footprints of their presidency.

With hours to go, U.S. judge blocks federal executions

A U.S. district judge on Monday ordered a new delay in federal executions, hours before a lethal injection was scheduled to be carried out.

New players emerge in Venezuela’s oil industry amid U.

China, India and Cuba replaced the U.S. as the top destinations for Venezuela's heavy crude, making up a combined 37 per cent of all voyages from Venezuela in the year following sanctions.

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies