Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has suspended the licences of 16 pilots and 65 cabin crew after they were found to have fake university degrees. The affected flight crew work for a number of airlines in the country including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the country’s flag carrier.
The revelation comes just days after PIA dismissed 50 employees, including cabin crew and three pilots after an internal investigation found they too had got jobs with the airline by using fraudulent education certificates. The CAA has been verifying the education of cabin crew and pilots after it was revealed that many could be fake.
“Degrees of 16 pilots and 65 cabin crew members were fake and their licenses have been suspended,” explained a lawyer for the CAA at Pakistan’s Supreme Court.
One pilot who had been suspended and was present at the hearing told the court that he had been unjustly accused but the CAA maintained that it was confident it had verified the authenticity of education certificates correctly. Those affected will be able to appeal their suspension through the Pakistani court system.
PIA hasn’t had a great start to the year with the airline already facing criticism for sending out an internal memo that demanded its cabin crew lose weight or face being grounded. Some cabin crew will need to lose up to 30 Lbs by July in order to reach the ‘desired’ weight.
Critics have called the policy ‘sexist’ and say it puts beauty and image ahead of ability or experience.