MIAMI – EASA has announced that it will be suspending all Pakistan Airlines (PK) flights to and from European Union member states following a shocking investigation that found that one in three active Pakistan Airline Pilots held false licenses.
The suspension will be in effect from July 1 and will be initially only run on a six-month basis with the option for the airline to appeal the suspension.
There have been no official comments made by PK on the announcement, but it is understood that it will be offering refunds or allowing passengers to push their flights back for when the suspension is lifted.
The investigation on the PIA A320 crash was launched on May 22, 2020. The incident saw 95 passengers and crew losing their lives with only 2 survivors.
While the investigation is still ongoing, the initial report hinted that the crash was caused by Pilot error, although this remains speculation while the investigation continues.
To make matters worse for Pakistan, as the crash investigation unfolded, on June 24 came a shocking discovery about the qualifications of Pakistani and the legitimacy of Pakistani Pilot licenses.
Fake Pilot Licenses
The Pakistani Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan broke the news which found 40% of pilots in Pakistain have fake pilot licenses, this follows an investigation that was launched back in February 2019.
Mr. Khan stated that “The inquiry which was initiated in February 2019 showed that 262 Pilots did not take the exam themselves” and that they had asked someone else to sit the exam on their behalf.
The news shook the aviation world to its core and what has followed is many airlines taking increased safety measures and checks for all pilots who have been employed following their flight training in Pakistan.
At this time there have been no further official statements made from EASA regarding PK.
Airways approached the UK Civil Aviation Administration for a comment and it said the following:
“Following the decision on 30 June 2020, by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to suspend permission for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate services to the European Union, PIA flights from Birmingham, London Heathrow and Manchester airports are suspended with immediate effect.
“The UK Civil Aviation Authority is required under law to withdraw PIA’s permit to operate to the UK pending EASA’s restoration of their approval that it meets international air safety standards.”
This is a developing story.