Months after a deadly crash followed by a pilot scandal rocked Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the United Nations is telling its workers to avoid Pakistani airlines, even within Pakistan.

United Nations Tells Staff To Avoid Pakistani Airlines

The problem began with a mysterious crash of an Airbus A320, which killed 97 people. Then Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan alleged that many Pakistani pilots were operating without a license. Many were pilots were immediately suspended pending an investigation and 58 have been cleared, with stories similar to an exclusive profile outlined on Live and Let’s Fly.

Yet that was not enough and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) banned PIA over the summer. The USA, Canada, and UK followed. In December, the EU ban was extended another three months as an audit of Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) remains incomplete.

As investigation continues, slowed by the pandemic, the United Nations is urging its workers to avoid PIA and other Pakistani airlines.

The UN Security Management System (UNSMS) now recommends:

“Due to an ongoing investigation of the CAA Pakistan…due to dubious licenses caution is advised on the use of Pakistan-registered air operators.”

This impacts UN agencies including:

  • World Health Organization
  • UN High Commission for Refugees
  • UN Development Programme
  • Food and Agriculture Organization

One exception, according to The News International, is Serene Airlines, the only privately-owned airline in Pakistan.


Months later, the issue of safety concerning Pakistani airlines remains unresolved. As investigations continue, the UN has now encouraged its staff to avoid PIA and other Pakistani airlines, except for Serene Airlines.

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