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Business & Finance

PIA downgraded to one-star airline after ‘dubious’ degree fiasco

  • AirlineRatings.com has stripped the airline of its three-stars for the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) as well as the one-star for the ICAO country audit.
03 Jul 2020

Marred with scandals, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been downgraded to a one-star airline by AirlineRatings after the recent revelation of hundreds of ‘dubious’ pilot licenses.

The EU has now banned the airline from Europe, losing one-star while AirlineRatings.com has stripped the airline of its three-stars for the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) as well as the one-star for the ICAO country audit.

“Clearly there needs to be an investigation into possible bribery and falsifying related to the pilot licenses,” said AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas. “This is deeply disturbing as the IOSA audit and ICAO country audit should pick this up,” he said.

The national airline is in the news these days after Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan announced last week the grounding of 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams, a move that caused global concern.

The minister said the pilots included 141 from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), nine from Air Blue, 10 from Serene Airline, and 17 from Shaheen Airlines.

Global concern has mounted since the announcement, with countries grounding Pakistan pilots and seeking to verify their credentials.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has also suspended Pakistan International Airlines’ authorisation to fly to the bloc for six months.

The action on the "dubious" licences was prompted by the preliminary report on an airliner crash in Karachi that killed 97 people last month.