Fake pilots: EU ban on PIA continues

By: News Desk      Published: 01:37 AM, 4 Dec, 2020
Fake pilots: EU ban on PIA continues

The European Union decided to retain the ban on Pakistan International Airline (PIA ) for failure to address the fake degree issue.

The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) said that it was satisfied with the measures taken by the PIA in connection with its safety management system.

The EU watchdog, in response to a PIA’s letter, said the national carrier that as the CAA had not taken any steps to address the licensing system, the ban will remain in effect.

It added that the CAA needed to under a safety audit. The ban can only be lifted if the Pakistani aviation regulatory body cleared the audit.

In June, EASA had suspended the authorisation for PIA to operate in Europe for six months in the wake of the grounding of 262 Pakistani pilots whose licences were termed “dubious” by Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

The safety watchdog said it was concerned about the validity of the Pakistani pilot licences following the minister’s statement.

Following the EASA’s move, the UK Civil Aviation Authority also withdrew PIA’s permit to operate from three of its airports -- Birmingham, London Heathrow and Manchester.

The PIA was operating 23 flights to the UK every week – nine to London, 10 to Manchester and four to Birmingham. The national carrier’s destinations in Europe included Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Oslo and Copenhagen.

The aviation minister told the National Assembly in September that the PIA had suffered a loss of Rs280 million because of flight operation ban in Europe.