The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has suspended 27 Pakistani pilots working for local airlines after authorities in Pakistan recently suspected that over 260 pilots in the South Asian country have been using fake licenses.
The pilots are all Pakistani citizens and had their licenses issued by authorities in Pakistan, Dinh Viet Thang, head of the CAAV, said on Saturday.
The CAAV is waiting for Pakistani authorities to verify the legitimacy of the 27 pilots’ licenses.
They will be allowed to resume their job in Vietnam if the licenses are confirmed to be legal.
Authorities in Pakistan previously grounded 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams following inquiries into their qualifications, Reuters quoted the country’s aviation minister as saying on Friday.
The pilots were accused of having someone sit one or more papers for them, and sometimes even all the eight papers required for an airline pilot’s license.
The move was prompted by a preliminary report on an airliner crash in Karachi last month, which found that the pilots had failed to follow standard procedures and disregarded alarms.
Ninety-seven people were killed in that crash and the airline in question, state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), said on Thursday it would ground pilots with “dubious” licenses.
Thousands of foreign pilots are currently working for airlines in Vietnam, namely Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, Vasco, Vietjet, and Bamboo Airways.
In 2011, authorities in South Korea informed the CAAV that a South Korean pilot working for Vietnam Airlines had been suspected of using a fake license.
An investigation later showed that the pilot had used bogus documents to get a license issued by the Indonesian Aviation Administration.
The pilot quit his job at Vietnam Airlines before the CAAV finished its investigation.