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UN Warns Staff Against Flying With Pakistani Airlines Amid Concerns Over Pilot Qualifications

The wreckage of a state-run Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 after it crashed in Karachi on May 24, 2020.

The United Nations has warned its staff not to travel with Pakistani-registered airlines amid concern that some of the nation’s pilots may not be qualified to fly planes.

In a note to staff obtained by Pakistani media on January 23, the UN Security Management System (UNSMS) said that, due to an investigation into dubious pilot licenses, “caution is advised on the use of Pakistan-registered air operators.”

It is unclear when the UN note was issued to staff.

Pakistan in June announced it was grounding 262 pilots suspected of dodging their exams following an inquiry into industry practices spurred by a May crash that killed 97 people.

The UN advisory means staff working in the country cannot use most domestic airlines even when flying within the country.

UN staff can use Tajikistan-registered Somon Air, Afghanistan-registered Kam Air, and Uzbekistan Airways to travel within Pakistan, Pakistani agency The News reported.

Four Pakistan-registered planes have crashed over the past decade, killing about 450 passengers and crew.

In May, a plane en route from Lahore crashed into a residential area in Karachi.

Former Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan at the time blamed the crash on human error, saying the pilot failed to follow protocols.

Based on reporting by Dawn, The News, and CNN