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Europe suspends flights of Pakistani airline PIA over fake pilot licenses

The company flies to countries such as Denmark, Norway, France, Italy or Spain, specifically Barcelona.

The European Aviation Safety Agency ( EASA ) on Tuesday suspended the authorization of the state airline Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate on European soil for a period of six months from tomorrow, after it was known that a third of Pakistani pilots have licenses false.

"The European Aviation Safety Agency has temporarily suspended the authorization of the Member States of the European Union (EU) for a period of six months effective from July 1, 2020." 
PIA said in a statement.

PIA flies to Denmark, Norway, France, Italy or Spain, specifically to the city of Barcelona, ​​where a large community of Pakistanis live.

The airline did not mention the cause of the suspension in the statement, but AESA pointed to the recent scandal revealed by Pakistani authorities that 262 of the country's 860 pilots have false licenses, 150 of them from the Pakistani state airline.

"EASA is concerned about the validity of the licenses of Pakistani pilots and that Pakistan, as the state operator, is unable to certify and supervise its operators and aircraft according to international standards." 
the European regulator said in a letter addressed to PIA to which Efe had access. 
"EASA has no confidence in Pakistan, as a State operator." 

the agency noted.

The agency mentioned that Pakistani Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan revealed last week before the National Assembly (NA, Lower House) that a third of the country's pilots had false licenses.

Sarwar reported days after that 28 pilots were going to be fired, while the investigation into the rest of the licenses continues, investigations that began in February 2019.

For its part, PIA has announced that it leaves 141 pilots with dubious licenses grounded, while investigating their validity.
EASA also mentioned the PIA flight accident of May 22 in which 98 people died, and in which, according to the preliminary investigation, numerous violations of security procedures occurred.

Pakistan suffers from air casualties with some frequency. In 2010, she experienced one of her worst aviation tragedies, when 152 people died in a plane crash near Islamabad.
Two years later, another plane crash killed 138 people near the capital.

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