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US bans PIA operations over dubious licences issue: Report

The decision has been taken after 262 Pakistani pilots were grounded, whose licences the Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had termed "dubious" in the National Assembly.

By: PTI | Islamabad |
July 10, 2020 5:58:10 pm
The US officials said that the ban had been imposed because of the recent issue of suspected pilots’ licences in PIA.

The US has imposed a ban on Pakistan International Airlines flights for at least six months, citing dubious pilots’ licenses, according to a media report on Friday.

On Tuesday, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ordered its 32 member states to bar Pakistani pilots from working, following reports of fake licenses being issued to them.

The decision has been taken after 262 Pakistani pilots were grounded, whose licences the Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had termed “dubious” in the National Assembly.

The Express Tribune reported quoting sources that the US authorities have notified the national carrier of the ban through an email. They added that the special flight licences obtained by the PIA had also been revoked.

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The US officials said that the ban had been imposed because of the recent issue of suspected pilots’ licences in PIA.

PIA was allowed to operate 12 direct special flights to the United States of which the airline had operated seven flights. The paper reported that the permission for the remaining five flights had now been revoked, according to the sources.

Pakistan has already suspended licenses of 34 more PIA pilots after the national flag carrier terminated the services of 52 employees on various charges, including fake degrees.

The dubious license issue emerged after the preliminary probe report of the Karachi plane crash blamed the pilots and the air traffic control for the tragedy that killed 97 people.

The domestic flight from Lahore to Karachi crashed in a residential area near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on May 22.

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