New Delhi: The United States Department of Transportation on Thursday announced that it has suspended Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) charter flights over concerns with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding Pakistani pilot certification. Also Read - Pakistan: 4 Killed in Bomb Blast in Balochistan’s Quetta
The US became the second administration to revoke the permission for PIA to operate in the region, after the European Union’s blow last month. Notably, the UK had also suspended PIA flight operations for six months after Pakistan grounded nearly one-third of its pilots due to falsified license. Also Read - Pakistan Fails to Comply on 6/27 Points on Action Plan, to Remain on Terror-Financing Watchdog FATF’s Grey List
PIA has been facing huge financial losses for years and it came under the scanner after a fatal crash on May 22 this year that killed 98 people onboard. Also Read - India Pushes For Pakistan to Remain on FATF Grey List, Says Pak Continues to be Safe Haven for Terrorists
Of nearly 262 airline pilots grounded by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority for having fake licences, 141 pilots were from PIA.
According to Pakistani media reports, PIA has said that the US move was a major “setback” for the carrier. However, it is in close coordination and will address the concerns with the US by conducting the ongoing corrective measures with the airlines.
Notably, several other countries including Malaysia and the UAE have suspended or scrutinised pilots holding Pakistani aviation licences since the fake license scandal broke out.