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US Bans Pakistan International Airlines over Fake Pilot Licence Scandal

US Bans Pakistan International Airlines over Fake Pilot Licence Scandal

Friday, 10 July, 2020 - 11:30
In June, Pakistan International Airlines grounded about a third of its pilots over fake or dubious licences. AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat

The United States has banned Pakistan International Airlines from operating chartered flights to the country, the airline said,.


The decision came after it announced that nearly 150 pilots would be grounded over fake or dubious licences.


This also comes after European Union aviation regulators decided to bar the state-run carrier for six months.


PIA said in a statement that the Federal Aviation Authority in the US had revoked approval for the airline due to "recent events identified by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority that are of serious concern to aviation safety," according to AFP.


In June, Pakistan's aviation minister said that a government review had found around 260 of the country's 860 active pilots hold fake licenses or cheated on exams.


PIA at the time said it would immediately ground about a third of its 434 pilots, just weeks after one of its planes crashed in Karachi killing 98 people -- an accident blamed on pilot error.


So far 17 pilots have been fired in the first phase of its investigation, a PIA spokesman told AFP.


The airline had suspended its commercial operations to the US in 2017 after booking financial losses on the route.


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