ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s national flag carrier has fired 50 staffers including three pilots for holding fake high school degrees, an airline official said on Monday, in the latest embarrassing mishap to hit the troubled airline.
A statement by the country’s national carrier said that the employees were fired on the instructions of the Supreme Court in a fake degrees case.
Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had taken notice of alleged appointment of pilots holding fake qualifications in January this year.
A two-member bench headed by the Chief Justice had issued a deadline of December 28 to the Civil Aviation Authority for completing the verifications of the degrees of pilots.
Earlier, Dawn.com had reported that academic credentials of seven PIA pilots had been found to be bogus and five of them had not even done matric.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which was considered a global leader in commercial aviation until the 1970s, has been plagued by myriad controversies in recent years and saddled by billions of dollars in debt.
PIA was widely mocked in 2016 for sacrificing a goat next to a turboprop ATR plane to ward off bad luck, weeks after one of its planes crashed killing 47 people in one of Pakistan’s worst air disasters.
Last year it had to apologize after forgetting two corpses due to be transferred to Pakistan from New York.
And in 2013 one of its pilots was jailed in Britain for being drunk before he was due to fly from Leeds to Islamabad with 156 people on board.
PIA employees have also been periodically investigated for drug-smuggling, especially after drugs were seized from a Dubai-bound flight in 2016.
With agency inputs