Airlines in 10 countries had demanded proof of valid flying licences for their Pakistani pilots. File
Airlines in 10 countries had demanded proof of valid flying licences for their Pakistani pilots after it emerged about a third of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aviators were holding "bogus or suspicious" licences. In all, the foreign airlines asked for proof of 176 Pakistani pilot licences.
Of these, 166 "have been validated as genuine and certified by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) Pakistan as having no anomaly," the agency said in a statement.
The "process for the remaining 10 shall be concluded by next week," it added.
Pakistan's civil aviation ministry grounded 262 pilots for "dubious" qualifications last month, prompted by a preliminary report into an airliner crash in Karachi in May that found the pilots had failed to follow standard procedures and disregarded alarms.
That crash killed 97 passengers and crew.
The ministry had said earlier that Pakistan has a total of 860 pilots, 107 of whom work for foreign airlines, but updated on Thursday in a statement that it had received requests from 10 countries for validation of 176 pilots.
It said 166 of them have been validated by CAA as "genuine and certified" and the remaining 10 will have their process completed by next week.
The 10 countries where these pilots are employed included United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, the ministry said. It said the validation had been conveyed to the respective countries.
Out of the 262 grounded pilots, the statement said, the licenses for 28 pilots have been cancelled, and a process of verification for another 76 was underway.
The scandal has prompted the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to suspended two Pakistani airlines' authorisation to fly to the bloc for six months over safety failure.
Britain and the United States have also revoked landing rights for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), and various global safety boards have downgraded the national carrier's rating over aviation safety risks.
Several countries have grounded the Pakistani pilots, seeking the validation from Pakistan.
Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA) has said there are discrepancies in the government-prepared list of pilots with licences deemed dubious.
Reuters / Agence France-Presse
PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan said the management has now written to the Civil Aviation Authority to urgently provide the list of other licences found to be dubious and all of them will be indefinitely grounded pending inquiries against them.
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