150 Pakistani International Airlines pilots grounded for ‘holding fake flying licenses’

PIA has announced it will ground at least 150 pilots who are suspected to have ‘dubious’ flying licences.


Pakistani International Airlines (PIA) has announced that it will ground 150 pilots on charges they obtained their pilot licences by having others take exams for them.


The shock announcement is the result of a provisional inquiry report for the PIA plane crash in Karachi on May 22.


The inquiry found that the pilots on duty were responsible for the crash that killed 97 people.


More details will become available after Airbus completes its own investigation.


A spokesperson for Pakistan’s state-run airline told the Associated Press: “We will make it sure that unqualified pilots never fly aircraft again.”


The global airlines body, International Air Transport Association (IATA), said the irregularities found in pilot licences at PIA represent a “serious lapse” in safety control.


“We are following reports from Pakistan regarding fake pilot licences, which are concerning and represent a serious lapse in the licensing and safety oversight by the aviation regulator,” an IATA spokesman said.


Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan estimated that around 40 per cent of pilots in Pakistan have fake flying licenses.


He also claimed, “More than 90% of people in Pakistan get their driving licences without even appearing for the exam.”