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Pakistan’s PIA suspended in Europe over faux pilot licence scandal

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KARACHI: Regulators have barred Pakistan Worldwide Airways from the European Union for six months after the state-run provider grounded practically a 3rd of its pilots for holding faux or doubtful licences, officers mentioned on Tuesday (Jun 30).

The European Union Aviation Security Company (EASA) advised PIA “it’s nonetheless unsure” if all of the remaining pilots are correctly certified, and “they’ve misplaced their confidence” within the airline, PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan advised AFP.

In an announcement, the EASA mentioned it had suspended PIA and a smaller personal Pakistan airline “in view of the current investigation reported on within the Pakistani Parliament which revealed that a big share of pilot licenses issued in Pakistan are invalid”.

PIA has solely flown restricted worldwide flights for months on account of the coronavirus.

A resumption of home operations final month was adopted by a crash blamed on pilot error that killed 98 folks.

PIA had just lately resumed bookings for 5 European capitals cities, together with Paris, Milan and Barcelona.

Flights to Britain, which is now not within the EU, had not been affected, Khan mentioned.

The EU suspension is the most recent fallout for PIA after the aviation minister advised parliament final week {that a} authorities overview had discovered 262 of Pakistan’s 860 energetic pilots maintain faux licenses or cheated on exams.

Greater than half of them had been from PIA, and the airline mentioned it will instantly floor 141 of its 434 pilots.

The EASA mentioned it suspended PIA “as a consequence of considerations concerning the functionality of competent authorities to make sure that Pakistani air operators are in compliance with relevant worldwide requirements always”.

Prime Minister Imran Khan advised parliament he would reform PIA and different authorities establishments.

“I need to inform my nation: We now have no different possibility, reforms are inevitable,” he mentioned on Tuesday.

Aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan mentioned reforms geared toward restructuring PIA can be accomplished by the top of the 12 months.

On Might 22, a PIA flight crashed into homes in Karachi, killing all 97 folks aboard the airplane and a baby on the bottom.

Investigators blamed two pilots, who had been chatting concerning the coronavirus whereas they first tried to land the Airbus A320 with out placing its wheels down.

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