Malaysia suspends Pakistani pilots after disclosure of license fraud

The Malaysia Aviation Regulator has temporarily suspended pilots hired by domestic airlines that hold Pakistani licenses after the South Asian country government said many pilots had dubious qualifications.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAM) said in a statement on Thursday that the decision was made after examining all foreign pilots in Malaysia. The regulator told Reuters that there were fewer than 20 Pakistani pilots in the country.

National carrier Malaysia Airlines says it has no Pakistani pilots, Malaysia Lion Air's Malaysian arm Malindo Air said it has no foreign pilots and no Pakistani pilots.

CAAM said it has hired pilots with "local operators" such as flight schools, flying clubs, and training institutes.

Pakistan, after finding one-third of its pilots last week, found that they had misunderstood their qualifications. There are a total of 860 pilots in Pakistan, 107 of whom work for foreign airlines.

The announcement has sparked global concern as Pakistan has helped countries to verify their credibility.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has suspended the authority to travel to Pakistan International Airlines for six months.

CAAM said it was trying with its Pakistan counterpart to verify the authenticity of the license holders.

(Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority) License holders confirmed to be valid will be re-appointed soon.

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