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Oman may ban Pakistan International Airlines in view of dubious pilot licenses scandal

News Agencies | Updated on: 15 July 2020, 10:50 IST
Pakistan International Airlines

Oman may become the first country to ban the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from using its airspace after the Omani Civil Aviation Authority expressed concern over the issue of dubious licences of Pakistani pilots and sought an explanation from Islamabad regarding curative measures undertaken to ensure flight safety, according to a report in The Dawn.

A threat of a ban on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights in the airspace of Oman looms large, the media reported further.

Earlier, the European Union Air Safety Agency (EUASA) suspended PIA authorisation to operate in the EU member states for six months, while the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also shared its concern over the serious lapse in the licensing and safety oversight by the aviation regulator.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan CAA has explained to the Omani Civil Aviation Authority that credentials of all pilots, who were allowed to fly, had been scrutinised before they had been declared fit to fly, the sources close to the matter informed The Dawn.

The Omani authorities were further informed that the scrutiny of pilots was initiated by the Pakistani authorities on the directive of the Supreme Court of Pakistan a couple of years ago, the sources explained.

Amid the aviation crisis, seven other countries including Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where Pakistani pilots had been employed with different airlines have asked Islamabad to verify their credentials.

Meanwhile, the commercial flying licences of 28 Pakistani pilots, who traced to have 'dubious' licences in 2018, have been cancelled. After legal formalities, they would be terminated from service by the airline.

Of the 262 'dubious' licence holders, 34 pilots had been suspended by the aviation division. Twenty four other pilots were suspended last Saturday, while sources said 30 to 40 pilots were expected to be suspended within the next few days.

The aviation crisis in Pakistan has caught world attention after the federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar in the National Assembly had declared that 150 pilots of the national flag carrier had been having dubious licences.


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First published: 15 July 2020, 10:50 IST