Pakistan airlines Photograph:( AFP )
Regulators have barred PIA from the European Union and Britain for six months after the state-run carrier grounded nearly a third of its pilots for holding fake or dubious licences, officials said on Tuesday.
Pakistan`s international image continues to get battered on a number of issues.
Pakistanis are not allowed to enter various European countries despite easing of COID-lockdown measures. And now the suspension of flight services by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in European countries is the latest fallout in line.
"Unbelievable! First, Pakistanis not allowed to enter various countries. Then Gulf Airlines refusing to come to Pakistan. Now PIA not allowed into EU! Thank you Selectors and Captain of Team Pakistan!," tweeted Najam Sethi, noted Pakistani jurnalist.
Pakistan has not been included in the draft list of 54 countries that will benefit from the reopening of the European Union`s external borders from July. Regulators have barred PIA from the European Union and Britain for six months after the state-run carrier grounded nearly a third of its pilots for holding fake or dubious licences, officials said on Tuesday.
The EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) told PIA "it is still not sure" if all the remaining pilots are properly qualified, and "they have lost their confidence" in the airline.
After a government review, last week, had found 262 of the country`s 860 active pilots hold fake licenses or cheated on exams, more than half of them were from PIA, and the airline said it would immediately ground 141 of its 434 pilots.
The airline has only flown limited international flights for months as a result of the coronavirus. A resumption of domestic operations last month was followed by a crash blamed on pilot error that killed 98 people.
This is a huge blow to Pakistan and its national carrier, which even otherwise did not have a great reputation. This has caused a huge sensation in the aviation world globally and suggests that the country has treated passenger safety in a most cavalier fashion.
It also gives an idea of the gigantic scam taking place, which threatens the lives of thousands of flyers. Ethics and commitment are conspicuously missing.
The spate of negative happenings which have overwhelmed Pakistan suggests that luck is running out for Prime Minister Imran Khan due to his countless failures in governing the country. The cricketer-turned politician`s two-years term in office has hit rock bottom and to an extent that his pointing fingers at India for Monday`s attack may find few takers. The severe blows taken by PIA internationally cap other glaring failures.