ISLAMABAD (PAKISTAN) – Pakistan’s national airline has written to foreign missions and global regulatory and safety bodies, assuring them it has grounded all 141 pilots suspected of obtaining licenses through dishonest means, the carrier’s spokesman said on Saturday.
This comes after Pakistan’s Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said on Friday the government had asked various commercial airlines, flying clubs and charter companies to ground 262 pilots until a probe into their qualifications are completed.
The probe was initiated after a preliminary report on the crash of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft in Karachi last month, which revealed pilots had failed to follow standard procedures.
Global safety and transport bodies expressed concern about the alleged “dubious” licenses and said they were looking into the matter. PIA operates services on a number of international routes, including to the United States, Britain and Europe.
“It is also ensured that all pilots flying PIA flights are having genuine licences endorsed by the government of Pakistan,” said a copy of the letter sent to the US Embassy in Islamabad seen by Reuters.
The letter, signed by PIA Chief Executive Arshad Malik, also promised the airline would comply with all international aviation safety and regulatory standards.
PIA’s spokesman said the letter had been sent to all heads of foreign missions in Pakistan as well as international aviation regulators and safety monitoring agencies.
Aviation Minister Khan had said the move to ground the pilots would help assuage global concerns and demonstrate that wrongdoing had been corrected. He said five officials of the aviation authority were also suspended for abetting the suspected pilots.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field