Islamabad, 30 June 2020 (Washington Post)
“It is hurting us really bad,” he said of the pilots scandal.
An inquiry into the May 22 Airbus A320 crash that killed 97 people at the southern port city of Karachi resulted in the stunning revelation that 260 of 860 pilots in Pakistan had cheated on their pilots exams, but were still given licences by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The government has since fired five officials of the regulatory agency and criminal charges are being considered.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency “is concerned about the validity of the Pakistani pilot licenses and that Pakistan, as the State of operator, is currently not capable to certify and oversee its operators and aircraft in accordance with applicable international standards,” the organization said in its letter announcing the ban.
PIA has grounded 150 of its pilots for cheating.
But Hafeez told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday that PIA had alerted the Civil Aviation Authority, the Pakistani regulatory body that issues pilots licences, of its concerns over some of the licenses. In 2019, PIA grounded 17 pilots over concerns about their licences after one of its aircraft skidded off the runway in northern Pakistan.