PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Karachi Int'l) has fired at least 400 employees who allegedly used fake degrees to secure jobs with the national flag carrier.

In a statement, the company said the affected include at least seven pilots and several cabin crews members who are under investigation for qualifications fraud by the civil aviation authority and the Supreme Court.

The investigations have discovered that some of the airline’s pilots did not even complete high school. The Supreme Court has asked the Civil Aviation Authority to submit details with the pre-license examination details of nearly 500 pilots in its employment.

Meanwhile, the CAA has suspended the licenses of all pilots and cabin crews found guilty of holding fake academic certificates. CAA Director-General Hassam Baig said the suspension took effect on December 29.

The authority has also announced the immediate suspension of licences for all pilots and cabin crews who have not submitted their academic qualifications. Baig said the affected will remain suspended until they submit proof of their certifications.

By January 3, at least 1,200 cases of fake degrees and certificates were confirmed to be under investigation at PIA. Of these 402 have been fired with at least 35 undergoing disciplinary proceedings. More than 260 have approached the courts to apply for a suspension of the judicial proceedings.

The Pakistan Senate Standing Committee on Aviation is reportedly opposed to the sacking of the holders of fake qualifications at PIA.