Pakistan Airline Blocked From U.S. After Pilot-License Scandal

Pakistan’s national airline has been barred from flying to the U.S. as a result of a scandal in which almost one-third of the nation’s pilots were found to have faked certifications.

The U.S. Transportation Department notifiedPakistan International Airlines Corp.’s lawyers in Washington on July 1 that its authorization to operate to U.S. destinations was being immediately suspended. The department released a copy of the letter on Thursday.

PIA has beenwracked by years of financial losses and on May 22 suffered a fatal crash in which 98 people died after pilots attempted to touchdown without lowering the landing gear, damaging the engines. The flight crew tried to lift off again, but the engines failed a short time later.

TheFederal Aviation Administration had notified the department on June 30 that all of PIA’s operations to the U.S. should be terminated as a result of the pilot-certification scandal.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency on June 30 blocked PIA and charter operator Vision Air International from flights to the European Union.

— With assistance by Faseeh Mangi

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