Pakistan’s national airline moves to allay concern over pilot licenses

FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands guard next to a truck loaded with the wreckage of Pakistan International Airlines plane PK8303, in Karachi, Pakistan, May 28, 2020. REUTERS / Akhtar Soomro / File Photo

ISLAMABAD / KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistan’s national airline has written to foreign missions and global security and regulatory bodies, assuring them that it has punished 141 pilots suspected of obtaining licenses by unfair means, the transport spokesman said on Saturday. .

The move seeks to allay concerns after Pakistani Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said on Friday that the government had asked several commercial airlines, flight clubs and charter companies to land a total of 262 pilots until Investigations into your qualifications will be completed.

The Pakistan Airline Pilots Association questioned the authenticity of the list on Saturday and asked the judiciary to step in and investigate the matter instead of the government to ensure transparency.

Global transport and security agencies expressed concern over the alleged “dubious” licenses and said they were investigating the matter. PIA flies a number of international routes, including the United States, Great Britain, and Europe.

The letter, signed by PIA Chief Executive Arshad Malik, promised that the airline would continue to comply with all international aviation safety and regulatory standards.

“All pilots flying PIA flights are also guaranteed to have genuine Pakistani government-backed licenses,” said a copy of the letter sent to the United States embassy in Islamabad seen by Reuters.

The PIA spokesman said the letter had been sent to all heads of foreign missions in Pakistan, as well as to international aviation regulators and security monitoring agencies.

Aviation Minister Khan had said the move to ground pilots would help calm global concerns and show that the mistakes had been corrected. He said five aviation authority officials had been suspended for inciting suspected pilots.

In a joint statement, the International Federation of Airline Pilot Associations and the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Associations called for the crash investigation to be conducted in accordance with international standards, urging that “premature conclusions be reached “based on incomplete or speculative information.

Asif Shahzad Reports; Written by Gibran Peshimam; David Holmes and Alison Williams edition

Our Standards:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.