Malaysia suspends Pakistan pilots after licence fraud revelation

Malaysia suspends Pakistan pilots after licence fraud revelation

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane arrives at the Benazir International airpor
A Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane arrives at the Benazir International airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, Dec 2, 2015. (File photo: REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's aviation regulator has temporarily suspended pilots employed by domestic airlines who hold Pakistani licences, after the government of the south Asian nation revealed that many pilots had dubious qualifications.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) said in a statement on Thursday (Jul 3) that the decision came after an evaluation of all foreign pilots in Malaysia. The regulator told Reuters that there are fewer than 20 Pakistani pilots in the country.

Pakistan last week grounded almost a third of its pilots after discovering they may have falsified their qualifications. Pakistan has a total of 860 pilots, 107 of whom work for foreign airlines.

READ: Pakistan International Airlines grounds 150 pilots for dubious licences

Global concern has mounted since the announcement, with countries grounding Pakistan pilots and seeking to verify their credentials.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has also suspended Pakistan International Airlines' authorisation to fly to the bloc for six months.

CAAM said it is making efforts with its Pakistani counterpart to verify the authenticity of the licence-holders.

"Licence holders that are verified as valid by (the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority) will be reinstated immediately," it said.

National carrier Malaysia Airlines said it does not have any Pakistan pilot.

Source: Reuters/dv