Pakistan’s national flag carrier cleared 110 pilots out of the 141 whose licences to fly were suspended in the backdrop of the fake degrees controversy, according to a media report on Tuesday. Senior advocate Salman Akram Raja informed the Supreme Court about it on Monday while representing the airlines.
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had taken up an appeal moved by PIA Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik against a Sindh High Court order.
Dawn reported that Raja said that PIA had cleared 110 pilots and cancelled the licences of 15, whereas 14 pilots had been declared unfit to fly. A few cases were pending decisions, he said.
The information came when Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked what steps were taken by the airline to vet the suspended licences and whether the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was pushing the issue enough to get back the business by verifying the licences.
The issues of licenses surfaced in the wake of the tragic crash of a PIA plane in Karachi on May 22, killing about 95 people, when Minister of Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan told media that 260 of the country’s 860 active pilots had either fake licences or had cheated in their exams.
It aroused widespread concerns about the safety of PIA, and EU banned its flights and the airlines initially grounded 150 pilots to check their record but some of them were cleared after initial probe.