The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) suspended authorization for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate in Europe FOR six month.
The action was taken after 262 Pakistani pilots were grounded by Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan for having a dubious license.
According to the PIA statement “EASA has temporarily suspended PIA’s authorization to operate in EU member states for 6 months effective on 1 of July, with the right to appeal against the decision.”
All passengers booked on its flights to a European destination will be given the option either extend their booking or ask for a full refund.
A press release by PIA said, “PIA is in contact with EASA to mitigate their concerns and to take necessary steps and filing an appeal against the decision.”
They added, “We sincerely hope that with reparative and rapid actions taken by the Government of Pakistan and PIA management, the suspension will be lifted as earliest as possible.”
Pilots question the list of dubious pilots
Airline pilots and their union have raised a question about the list the government released of the pilots with alleged dubious credentials, saying that it’s full of inconsistencies.
Aviation Minister Khan’s announcement last week about docking 262 airline pilots for suspects of not giving them exam has caused global concern.
PIA said the list has some inconsistencies as 36 of the 141 pilots have either retired or moved out. Air Blue said that seven pilots on the list are no longer working for the airline.
The pilot and their union declined the list and demanded a judicial investigation.
Abdul Sattar Khokar a spokesman at the Aviation Division said that “We don’t have full detail of the discrepancies with us. The issues are being sorted out deliberation with the airlines and civil aviation authorities.
The Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (Palpa) also raised doubts about the list.
Their president, Chaudhry Salman told Reuters “It contains names of highly educated and qualified pilots who have passed all the tests. We want a fair and impartial resolution to this matter.”