PIA pilot
Pakistani pilots may face flying ban in the European Union countries following 'dubious' licences reports. Photo for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit:

Dubai: Pakistan pilots faced another major blow, as they are likely to be banned from flying in the 32 European countries.

The European Union Aviation Authority (EASA) has recommended the aviation authorities of the 32 member states to consider the suspension of validations issued against Pakistani licences.

The EASA has written a letter to its 32 member countries regarding alleged “fraud related to pilot licences issued in Pakistan” and recommended not to schedule such pilots for flight operations.

Pilots issue

“You may be aware of the information available in the public domain indicating that a sizeable portion (approximately 40%) of airline pilot licences issued by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) are either falsified and or otherwise not ICAO compliant,” the letter said.

“Should your organisation currently employ pilots holding valid Pakistani licences, we would appreciate it if you could share with us any measures taken or planned in this regard be informed to the EASA,” the letter added.

The decision came after the Pakistan’s Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan revealed that 262 active commercial pilots hold ‘dubious’ flying licences. Following the announcement, PIA also grounded 141 pilots, Pakistani media reported.

The EASA also announced to suspend PIA’s authorisation to operate to the EU member states for a period of 6 months effective July 1.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has suspended licenses of 34 more pilots of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suspected of holding fake degrees, Geo TV reported.

According to a notification, licenses will remain suspended until the inquiry against the pilots has not been completed.

Earlier, Malaysia and Vietnam have also temporarily suspended pilots holding Pakistani licenses and were employed by their airlines.