Malaysia suspends Pakistan pilots after license fraud revelation

After Europe and Vietnam, Malaysia’s aviation regulator has temporarily suspended pilots employed by domestic airlines who hold Pakistani licenses.
The decision came after the Pakistani government revealed that many of its pilots had dubious qualifications.
In a statement on July 2, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) said that the decision came after an evaluation of all foreign pilots in Malaysia. The regulator said that there are less than 20 Pakistani pilots in the country.
National carrier Malaysia Airlines said it does not have any Pakistani pilot. Malindo Air, the Malaysian arm of Indonesia’s Lion Air, said it does not have any foreign pilots, and AirAsia said it does not have any Pakistani pilot.
CAAM said the pilots were employed with “local operators”, such as flying schools, flying clubs and training organizations.
In the last week of June, Pakistan grounded almost a third of its pilots after discovering they may have falsified their qualifications. Pakistan has a total of 860 pilots, 107 of whom work for foreign airlines.
The pilots reportedly hired other people to take the license examination on their behalf and were not qualified to operate an aircraft.
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’ authorization to fly to the bloc for six months.
CAAM said it is making efforts with its Pakistani counterpart to verify the authenticity of the license holders.
“License holders that are verified as valid by (the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority) will be reinstated immediately,” it said.