RAWALPINDI: Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Saturday said that degrees of 30 more pilots out of the 262 suspected of obtaining dubious licences have turned out to be fake and they have...
RAWALPINDI: Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Saturday said that degrees of 30 more pilots out of the 262 suspected of obtaining dubious licences have turned out to be fake and they have been terminated.
Addressing a presser in Rawalpindi, Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that out of the overall pilots who were alleged to have dubious credentials, 141 of them belong to the PIA while nine of them work for Air Blue and Serene Air. They are grounded immediately, he said.
He said that the flight operations to Europe remained suspended temporarily and the PIA has the right to appeal on the decision. “We will take strict action against the pilots who are found possessing dubious or fake licences,” said Ghulam Sarwar Khan while terming the PIA pilots as one of the most professional pilots.
The aviation minister said that they were cleaning the mess of the previous governments as neither pilots were recruited after 2018 nor any test was conducted to issue licences during the period.
The aviation ministry saw political recruitments with 11 chief executives of the PIA replaced during the past 10 years. He said that they took over the PIA with Rs462 billion debt.
The national flag carrier has not purchased any plane since 2006, said Ghulam Sarwar. “We have to rectify our errors to make PIA one of the best airlines,” he said adding that the case of five Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials posted at the licencing section would be referred to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and no one would be spared for committing fraudulent activities. He said that the airlines across the globe had suffered losses of $350 billion due to COVID-19 pandemic and many international airlines have terminated their staff due to the ongoing situation.
“In the current situation, we have brought down PIA losses from Rs4 billion to Rs1 billion, he said adding that overall losses suffered by the national flag carrier during the pandemic have reached up to Rs6 billion.
The aviation minister said that similarly the CAA was suffering losses of Rs2 billion weekly making it a loss of Rs20 billion in a moth in terms of flying charges it receives.