Vietnam’s aviation authority said on Monday it had grounded all Pakistani pilots working for local airlines, amid concern from global regulators that some pilots may have been using “dubious” licences.
After the Minister of Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan announced at the National Assembly that 150 pilots of the national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines had fake permits, the question of suspicious permits has attracted global attention.
Last week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed concern about “serious mistakes by aviation regulators in licensing and safety supervision.”
“The head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has ordered a suspension for all Pakistani pilots working for Vietnamese airlines,” the CAAV said in a statement on Monday.
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The suspension will remain in effect until further notice by CAAV, adding that the authorities are coordinating with Pakistani authorities to review the pilot’s personal data.
CAAV said that Vietnam has approved 27 Pakistani pilot licenses, 12 of which are still in service, while the other 15 pilots’ contracts have expired or lapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the 12 in-service pilots, 11 are low-cost airlines, VietJet Air, and one is working for Jetstar Pacific, a division of flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.
CAAV said that Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airlines did not use any Pakistani pilots.
CAAV said that Vietnam Airlines currently has 1,260 pilots, nearly half of whom hold foreign citizenship.
UAE blocks inbound passengers from Pakistan
At the same time, the United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that it will not accept passengers from Pakistan from June 29 (today) until a dedicated Covid-19 laboratory is established to test it.
The General Civil Aviation Authority stated that the decision also applies to transit flights originating from Pakistan.
Dubai National Airlines Emirates has said it will suspend flights from Pakistan from June 24 to July 3, after about 30 Pakistanis who arrived in Hong Kong on Emirates on June 22 conducted Covid-19 A positive test.