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Friday 18 September 2020

Criminal investigation into pilots who flew without valid licences

Pakistan International Airlines is currently banned from flying to both Europe and the United States after a scandal involving dozens of pilots who had fake licences.

Now Pakistan has started a criminal probe into dozens of pilots and at least five aviation officials over the fake pilot licence scandal.

It comes after numerous pilots were grounded after bogus credentials were used to get their licenses.

The criminal investigation by the Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency is targeting up to 50 pilots and aviation officials who allegedly facilitated the scam. 

It aims to prove 'alleged corruption, violations, malpractices in issuance of flight crew licences'.

"The Cabinet was told that FIA has opened proceedings into the pilots whose licences were revoked, and the civil aviation officials who connived with them," according to the Reuters news agency

The scandal came to light after officials opened an audit into Pakistan International Airlines following an air crash.

It found dozens of pilots received their licences even though they paid others to take pilot exams on their behalf.

The Express Tribune reported that 82 pilots had been using fake licences but the remaining 180 pilots under investigation had been cleared. 

The pilots investigated included 141 at state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which employs 450 pilots. The remaining pilots worked for private airlines and charter services. 

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