Islamabad (Pakistan) | Jagran News Desk: At least seven airlines which operate internationally have initiated the processes to establish the professional qualification and air-operating competence of Pakistani air employees after several reports emerged on accounts of officials in Pakistan that as many as 262 pilots were holding fake licenses. A media report suggested that Qatar Airways has initiated a probe against all of its Pakistani employees and has grounded them until further notice.

Earlier, Pakistan’s debt-ridden state airline (PIA) Pakistan International Airline had grounded 150 pilots with ‘dubious licenses’ in the wake of Karachi plane crash on May 22 which claimed the lives of 99 people, with just two survivors emerging out alive of the crash site, quite miraculously.

According to a report published in Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper, Kuwait Air has grounded seven Pakistani pilots and 56 Engineers, whereas Oman Air and Vietnam Airlines have compiled lists of Pakistani pilots, engineers and ground-handling staff to establish their professionally qualifying aspects.

“The national flag carrier has written to foreign missions and global regulatory and safety bodies, assuring them it has grounded all 141 pilots suspected of obtaining licences through unfair means,” the report quoted PIA spokesperson as saying by Indian Express.

On Friday, nine Pakistani pilots from internationally-operational Air Blue, ten from Serene Airlines, and seventeen from now-defunct Shaheen airlines, too were reportedly grounded.

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Minister said that the move to ground the pilots will help in neutralising the global concerns and to further display that the wrongdoing has been corrected with all due respect to the professional competence and passenger security required.

“Five officials of the aviation authority were also suspended for abetting the suspected pilots,” Pak Civil Aviation minister Hassan Nasir Jamy was quoted as saying by Business Standard.

On May 22, Pakistan’s state carrier PIA’s Airbus A320 passenger-plane, flying from Lahore to Karachi with 101 people on-board, crashed in a residential area near Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. Only two individuals survived the terrifying air crash.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma