Airline Ratings, the world’s best airline safety and product rating review website, has downgraded the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) ranking to a 1-star airline after it was revealed that a major chunk of its pilots held fake licenses.
Editor-in-Chief Airline Ratings, Geoffrey Thomas, has said:
Clearly, there needs to be an investigation into possible bribery and falsifying related to the pilot licenses. This is deeply disturbing as the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) audit and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) country audit should pick this up.
Last month, Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, in the National Assembly while presenting the investigation report of PIA’s PK-8303 crash, had disclosed that 150 out of 434 PIA pilots possess fake licenses. Acting on the interim report, PIA immediately terminated all 150 pilots.
Following the shocking revelation, UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority has requested Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority to verify the licenses of all Pakistani pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, and flight operations officers serving in numerous airlines in the Gulf state.
European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has suspended Pakistan International Airline (PIA) authorization to operate in European Union member countries for the next 6 months. The ban comes into effect from today, 3 June.
Following in the footsteps of the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA), the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) suspended PIA’s operating permit as well.
Besides, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association of 290 international airlines, had termed PIA’s failure to vet the licenses of pilots before hiring as a serious lapse in the safety protocols of the national flag carrier.