European Union Air Safety Agency has suspended Pakistan International Airlines to fly to Europe for 6 months, from July 1. This comes after Pakistan's Civil Aviation Minister admitted that more than 30 per cent of the country's civilian pilots have fake licences and are not qualified to fly.
The move follows the grounding of 262 pilots whose licences Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan termed “dubious”.
“EASA has temporarily suspended PIA's authorisation to operate to the EU member states for a period of 6 months effective July 1, 2020, with the right to appeal against this decision,” a PIA statement said.
All passengers booked on PIA flights to European destinations will have the option to either extend their bookings to a later date or get a full refund.
"PIA is in contact with EASA to allay their concerns and to take necessary corrective measures along with filing the appeal against the decision," the press release said.
The national flag carrier "sincerely hopes that with reparative and swift actions taken by the Government of Pakistan and PIA management, earliest possible lifting of this suspension can be expected", it added.