The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Saturday sacked seven of its pilots after their licenses were cancelled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) earlier in the day.
A PIA official confirmed that the pilots, including first officers, have been sent termination letters.
The CAA director-general issued license revocation letters after the government’s approval.
The Airline Transport Pilot licenses of 48 PIA pilots had been suspended earlier without show cause notices while the pilots were given two weeks to file their reply.
The PIA had already grounded 17 pilots in 2019, the national carrier official said.
In the last week of June, the federal aviation minister said that 262 or 30% of Pakistan’s 860 pilots have “fake” licenses. Sharing details of what he described as corruption within the CAA, the federal minister said 34 had not appeared in any of the eight exams, a requirement to qualify for a license. And 28 were suspected of having fake degrees. His pronouncements came to the fore weeks after PK-8303, operated by Pakistan International Airlines, crashed in Karachi, killing 97 people.
The pronouncement about fake licenses made global headlines and put the credibility of Pakistan’s aviation regulator and the pilots it licences under a pall.