Air travel is one of the few modes of transport where your life and survival depends almost completely on a metal contraption and the driver at the helm of the aforementioned contraption. As such, everyone would agree that it is best if your pilot is actually qualified to fly a plane.
A rather disturbing news update from earlier this month had revealed that one in every three pilots in Pakistan were not actually qualified -- having never actually taken their exams. They are thus not qualified to fly.
The horrifying detail was recently revealed by the country's aviation minister, and since then, there has been a crackdown on these pilots. The news comes against the backdrop of a horrifying plane crash that took place earlier this year, killing 97 people. Preliminary investigations had pointed to human error on the part of the pilots and the air traffic control which led to the crash of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane.
Since then, as the country doubled down on fake license holders, the PIA announced that it had grounded 150 pilots with "dubious licenses". Reportedly, some of these fake pilots had also worked with foreign carriers.
While the cash-strapped airlines has been concerned that grounding of so many pilots will affect its services, they might now have far bigger problems to contend with.
On June 30, Tuesday, the European Union Air Safety Agency suspended Pakistan International Airlines' permission to fly to Europe for six months. This comes into effect from Wednesday, July 1.
The news was also acknowledged by the PIA that said that it was in contact with the EASA. "PIA is in touch with EASA to allay their concerns and hopes that the suspension will be revoked with our CBMs soon," the carrier tweeted.
Netizens reacted to the news in different ways, vacillating between horror and amusement.
Take a look at some of the posts: