Vietnam grounds 20 Pakistani pilots over fake degree concerns

June 27th, 2020: Vietnam has fired 20 Pakistani pilots after it was found that 30% of the country’s civilian pilots have fake licenses.

According to reports from Vietnam’s civil aviation authorities at least 20 pilots from Pakistan were fired on the directive. The decision was made two days ago at the behest of the Ministry of Transport, said Dinh Viet Thang, director of Vietnam Civil Aviation Authority (CAAV).

Dinh Viet Thang said about 20 pilots had been fired, all of whom were Pakistani nationals and had obtained licenses from Pakistan. He said the pilots had been working in Vietnam for many years.

According to the CAAV executive, we are awaiting a review report from the Pakistani civil aviation authorities to determine whether the pilots used fake licenses or not. He said that pilots who have a certified license will be allowed to work again.

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It may be recalled that the Pakistani authorities had said yesterday that 260 out of 860 Pakistani pilots have suspicious licenses but they are being investigated. On the other hand, according to the report by Baaghi TV yesterday, the Kuwaiti authorities also grounded seven Pakistani pilots and 56 engineers have been suspended.

According to a report, sources said the pilots and engineers would remain suspended until their licenses were verified by Pakistani authorities. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has written to foreign missions and international regulatory and safety bodies assuring them that it has grounded all 141 pilots whose licenses were in doubt.

International safety and transport bodies have expressed concern over the pilots’ alleged “suspicious” licenses, saying they were looking into the matter. A letter written by PIA to the US Embassy in Islamabad said, “It will also be ensured that the licenses of the pilots flying PIA flights are genuine and verified by the Government of Pakistan.”

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The letter, written by Arshad Malik, chief executive of the national airline, also promised that the airline would comply with all international aviation safety and regulatory standards. A PIA spokesman said the letter had been sent to the heads of all foreign missions in Pakistan as well as to international aviation regulators and safety monitoring agencies.

It may be recalled that Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had said in a press conference in Islamabad yesterday that the number of pilots questioned was 262, 141 were in PIA, 9 in Airblue, 10 in SereneAir, 17 formerly working in Shaheen Airlines and 85 in others.

It may be recalled that after the order of the Supreme Court, a large number of employees with fake, bogus academic and professional fake degrees have come forward in the PIA. According to the report, these employees were recruited with huge bribes during the tenure of former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari.

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