In a reaction to perhaps one of the worst scandals in aviation history, European regulators have banned Pakistan International Airlines from flying to Europe for the rest of the year and possibly beyond after revelations that as many as a third of its pilots may have invalid or fake licenses.
The situation came to light after a PIA A320 crashed in May near Lahore, killing all 97 aboard. A preliminary report found that both pilots had disregarded safety procedures and ignored alarms, which led to a check of their training. In turn, that led to the discovery that 262 or 860 commercial pilots in Pakistan either had fraudulent licenses, or had paid others to take required tests. More than half were working for PIA.
The airline can appeal in two months, but for now, seats between Pakistan and Europe will be in short supply, with few other airlines flying the routes.