27.06.2020, 18:07

Vietnam suspends Pakistani pilots over alleged ‘fake’ license scandal

Vietnam suspends Pakistani pilots over alleged ‘fake’ license scandal
A pilot working in the cockpit (illustrative image by Vietnam Airlines)

CAAV director Dinh Viet Thang said the decision was made two days ago following instructions from the Ministry of Transport.

Nearly 20 pilots have been suspended and they are all Pakistani citizens who got the licenses in Pakistan, Thang said, adding these pilots were working for several airlines in Vietnam.

According to the executive, the CAAV is currently waiting for the results of a review from the Pakistani aviation authorities to determine if these pilots had used fake licenses or not. Those with a valid license will be permitted to fly again.

The move comes after Pakistani aviation authorities suspected that as many as 262 out of 860 Pakistani pilots had used ‘fake’ licenses.

Pakistani media reported that these pilots were alleged to hire others to take exams for them in order to get the license, an accusation that followed a probe into last month’s crash that killed 97 people in Karachi.

The plane went down in a residential area near Jinnah International Airport on May 22, just days after Pakistan lifted restrictions imposed over the coronavirus pandemic and resumed domestic flights.

Pakistani authorities said “human error” on the part of the pilot, the co-pilot, and air traffic control caused the crash. According to the cockpit voice recorder, found among the debris, the pilots had discussed the coronavirus throughout the flight.

State-run Pakistan International Airlines said it will ground 150 pilots over the scandal.