Following footsteps of the ecu Union (EU), the us on Thursday banned all flights of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) with immediate effect.
The US Transport Department said during a statement that special permission given to PIA had been suspended thanks to safety concerns.
The move follows the grounding of 262 airline pilots in Pakistan over fake licences during a decision made by the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan.
PIA said on Thursday it might ground pilots with “dubious” licences.
As per sources, Kuwait Air has grounded a minimum of seven Pakistani pilots and 56 engineers, while Qatar Airways, Oman Air and Vietnam Airlines have compiled lists of Pakistani pilots, engineers and ground staff.
The UAE’s Emirates airline has also put a halt on all Pakistani airline flights, barring them from using the airports for destination and transit flights.
This has been done after the Imran Khan-led government announced and notified various countries about the actions it took against the alleged 141 pilots, who are grounded and were under investigation.
As per officials of Kuwait Air, Omar Air and Vietnam Airlines, “employees whose name are on the lists will remain grounded till a report is received from the Pakistani authorities”.
Moreover, the ecu Union (EU) has also put a ban on Pakistani airlines while many other Pakistani pilots performing on other airlines have also been barred from flying till the investigation into the fake licenses is concluded and results are revealed by the Pakistan government.
This action was taken after Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) wrote to foreign missions and global regulatory and safety bodies, notifying them that it grounded all 141 pilots suspected of obtaining licenses through unfair means.
“It is additionally ensured that pilots flying PIA flights are having genuine licenses endorsed by the govt of Pakistan and are in physical possession of an equivalent during all domestic and international flights,” said a replica of the letter sent to the US Embassy in Islamabad.Pakistan grounded a minimum of 262 pilots, 109 commercial and 153 airline transport pilots as an investigation to verify their license was initiated.
The 262 pilots include 141 from PIA, nine from Air Blue, 10 from Serene Airlines and 17 from Shaheen Airlines, which has closed down.
The step has brought global embarrassment for Pakistan as serious questions are bring raised over the security of passengers, who use Pakistani airlines services for domestic and international travelling.
On the opposite hand, the pilots whose names are listed and are grounded, have rejected the claim stating that the government’s issues list is predicated on wrong and false facts.
“The list of grounded pilots has stated that a lot of pilots were found guilty of falsely clearing nine papers, while there are eight papers in total required to urge a pilot license from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA),” said one among the pilots whose name is within the list.
“There are many others, who haven’t even given eight papers till now and are co-pilots, they need put their names in there too,” he added.
As per Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) followed by the CAA, a pilot is required to pass all eight papers to become fully qualified, after completing a minimum of 1,500 hours commercial flying time.
Pilots association has called on the govt to make a judicial commission and discuss the matter, adding that they are doing not trust the transparency of the government-led investigation.
The incumbent Pakistan government is additionally suffering to major criticism by the opposition political parties, who are now accusing the aviation minister and therefore the government for bringing global embarrassment to the country.