Three new airlines have sought regulatory approval from Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to launch operations. The scrutiny of two airlines – Q-Airlines and Fly Jinnah – has been completed while Jet Green Airlines is still going through the process. Following the completion of scrutiny, the applications would be sent to Aviation Division and then to the federal cabinet for final approvals.
The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has refused to allow Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to resume its flight operations to and from European countries without the safety audit of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and has extended the ban for three months. The national carrier had requested the EASA for provisional permission following its fulfillment of several prescribed conditions.
Malaysia has verified licenses of 18 Pakistani pilots currently employed in the country and it has reinstated them with immediate effect. The pilots were suspended earlier this month after authorities in Pakistan discovered that up to a third of the country’s pilots may have falsified their qualifications. Last week, the Vietnamese government also verified licences of all Pakistani pilots.
The Aviation Division, on Friday, suspended 15 more pilots raising the number of suspended pilots to 93. The 15 are among the 262 pilots possessing suspicious licences. The licences of 28 others have already been cancelled. The suspended pilots will not be able to undertake any flying duty and their licences have been cancelled after proper legal procedures.
The Aviation Division has said that credentials of almost all Pakistani pilots working in foreign airlines have been confirmed. Since the news about dubious licences made waves internationally, airlines in 10 countries had demanded proof of valid flying licences for their Pakistani pilots. Of the 176 such pilots, 166 have been verified as authentic by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) Pakistan.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has cleared the licences of 18 Pakistani pilots working for Oman’s SalamAir after the Arab country’s civil aviation requested for the verification and clearance of the Pakistani pilots working in Oman’s airline company. The CAA also cleared three Pakistani pilots associated with Hong Kong airlines after it had asked for clearance of their licenses.
While expressing concern over recent safety issue with PIA, Omani Civil Aviation Authority warned Pakistan that the national flag carrier could be barred from using its airspace. The Omani authorities also asked Islamabad to explain what measures had been taken to ensure safety of flights. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) assured that credentials of all pilots had been scrutinised to ensure flight safety.
As matter of dubious licenses escalates, Malaysia’s aviation regulator has temporarily suspended pilots holding Pakistani licences employed by domestic airlines. The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia’s (CAAM) decision came after an evaluation of all foreign pilots in Malaysia. There are less than 20 Pakistani pilots in the country, employed with local operators, such as flying schools, flying clubs and training organisations.
Kuwait airlines has reportedly grounded 7 Pakistani pilots and 56 engineers amid chaos surrounding dubious credentials of Pakistani pilots. Lists of Pakistani pilots engineers and ground handling staff have been prepared by Qatar, Oman and Vietnam airlines as well. Decision has been taken to keep Pakistani staff grounded unless the report about them is received from Pakistan authorities.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar has announced that 262 pilots would be barred from flying because of ‘dubious’ credentials. The pilots in the line of fire include 141 from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), 10 from Serene Airline and nine from Air Blue. Others belong to flying clubs or chartered plane services. In total, there are 860 pilots in the country, 753 pilots serving locally and 107 in foreign ones.