Following on from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crash on 22nd May, and in particular the recent findings of pilot licensing irregularities, European safety regulators have banned the airline from operating to European Union destinations.
The ban is to be imposed for six months starting from 1st July. PIA state that they are in talks with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to “allay their concerns” and hopes their suspension will soon be “revoked”.
EASA is also concerned around the validity of Pakistani pilot licences, adding that it doubts the Pakistani authorities are “currently not capable” of certifying its operators and aircraft.
Preliminary findings into the A320 accident point towards “successive breaches of multiple layers of safety defences”. As a result, EASA is suspending the airline’s operations to EU destinations.
In a recent statement, EASA commented: “There are strong indications that a high number of Pakistani pilot licences are invalid”.
This is not the first time that PIA has come under scrutiny from EASA, the last time being after the 2016 ATR 42-500 crash in December that year.
European safety regulators have been concerned over PIA’s failure to implement a comprehensive safety management system, thus reinforcing the decision to impose a ban on operations for at least six months.
Pakistan aviation ministry official Abdul Sattar Khokhar said it did not have full details of the discrepancies and “the issue is being sorted out in consultation with airlines and civil aviation authorities.”
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