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Pakistan's Fake Pilot License Scandal Intensifies, European Union Suspends PIA Flights for Six Months

The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has suspended the authorisation for Pakistan's national airline to operate in Europe for six months, the airline's spokesman said on Tuesday. The move follows the grounding of 262 Pakistani pilots whose licenses the country's aviation minister termed "dubious".

"EASA has temporarily suspended PIA's authorization to operate to the EU member states for a period of 6 months effective July 1, 2020 with the right to appeal against this decision," a Pakistan International Airlines' statement said.

It added that PIA would discontinue all its flights to Europe temporarily.

This move follows after the revelation of a startling fact by Pakistan's Minister for Civil Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan about the pilots in Pakistan, when he stated that nearly 40 per cent of the active ones did not have a genuine license. The Minister revealed that at least 262 out of the 860 active pilots did not attend the exam themselves. He claimed that Pilots were also appointed on political basis, unfortunately. Merit was ignored while appointing pilots.

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In response to the same, the Pakistan Aviation Ministry had issued a show-cause notice to 54 pilots out of which 9 pilots have confessed to having fake licenses.