Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Thursday announced that it grounded 150 pilots, a day after the Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar revealed that many pilots possessed fake or dubious licenses.
According to PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez, the management had reached out to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to acquire a list of other pilots with dubious licenses. He added that they will remain grounded until an inquiry is complete against them. He went on to say that those who are found responsible at the end of the inquiry will be terminated, subject to completion of a formal process, Dawn reported.
He reaffirmed the national flag carrier’s resolve to improve safety standards, while working on the findings of the preliminary results of the PK-8303 accident as the baseline.
On Wednesday, the aviation minister said that the PIA needed major changes, saying an inquiry had been launched against the pilots with fake licenses and the politicising of the hiring process. Opposing the demand from some quarters, the minister said that the PIA would not be privatised, but it would be restructured.
Regarding the plane crash, he had said the pilots were not focused on landing because they were chatting about the coronavirus situation in the country and their families moments before the accident.
On May 22, the aircraft carrying 99 passengers crashed in Karachi’s Model Colony, raising fresh concerns on the dismal performance of the national flag carrier.