EASA bans Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan International Boeing 777 at London Heathrow Airport. Photo: © Phillip Rohmberger / IFN

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been banned from flying to most of Europe by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

This comes after a fatal crash in May that was caused by pilot error and led to the death of 98 people. Subsequent investigations have found that around a third of issued pilot licenses in Pakistan are fraudulent, the country’s aviation minister said. PIA responded by grounding almost 150 of its pilots.

The ban issued by EASA, effective Wednesday, July 1st, is at first limited to a duration of six months, but could be extended. PIA says it is in touch with the agency and hopes that the suspension of its European operations will be lifted soon. The airline has temporarily cancelled all flight services to the European Union.

EASA consists of the European Union’s member states as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.