Nine Pakistani pilots in Vietnam use 'genuine' licenses

By Doan Loan   July 17, 2020 | 06:37 am PT
Nine Pakistani pilots in Vietnam use 'genuine' licenses
Foreign pilots operate an airplane for a domestic airline in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Duy.
Nine of 12 Pakistani pilots working in Vietnam have used genuine licenses, Pakistan's aviation authorities have confirmed.

Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), said Friday that he had received the confirmation from Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority through diplomatic channels. "The verification process is ongoing for the remaining three."

The confirmation came more than three weeks after the CAAV asked their counterparts in Pakistan to verify records and certificates of 12 Pakistani pilots working in Vietnam over fake qualification concerns. While awaiting responses from Pakistan, Vietnam grounded the 12 pilots.

The 12 are part of 27 Pakistani pilots licensed to work in Vietnam. The other 15 have left the country after finishing their contracts.

Pakistan announced Thursday that 166 of its pilots working abroad used "genuine" licenses, Reuters reported. It had received requests from 10 countries and territories, including Vietnam, for verification of 176 pilots’ qualifications.

The remaining 10 will have their process completed by next week, Pakistani authorities said.

They had earlier suspended 262 pilots on suspicion of using fraudulent licenses. The fraud came to light during investigations into a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash in May that killed 97 people. The crash was caused by pilot error, it has been said.

Soon after, Vietnam’s Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The asked the CAAV to ground Pakistani pilots, pending review of their qualifications.

Vietnam's aviation market has six domestic players: Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar Pacific, Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), Bamboo Airways, and newly-licensed Vietstar Airlines, a military-run company.

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