Pakistan International Airlines fires pilots with fake school degrees

National carrier Pakistan International Airlines has been plagued by myriad controversies in recent years and saddled by billions of dollars in debt. (Reuters)
Updated 31 December 2018

Pakistan International Airlines fires pilots with fake school degrees

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s national flag carrier has fired 50 staffers including three pilots for holding fake high school degrees, an airline official said Monday, in the latest embarrassing mishap to hit the troubled airline.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which was considered a global leader in commercial aviation until the 1970s, has been plagued by myriad controversies in recent years and saddled by billions of dollars in debt.
“The airline has dismissed from service its 50 staffers including three pilots for holding fake high school degrees,” PIA’s spokesman Mashood Tajwar said.
He said at least six additional pilots had been fired recently on the same grounds.
The airline has canceled the pilots’ licenses, Tajwar added. He did not specify what the other PIA staff who were sacked did for the airline.
PIA was widely mocked in 2016 for sacrificing a goat next to a turboprop ATR plane to ward off bad luck, weeks after one of its planes crashed killing 47 people in one of Pakistan’s worst air disasters.
Last year it had to apologize after forgetting two corpses due to be transferred to Pakistan from New York.
And in 2013 one of its pilots was jailed in Britain for being drunk before he was due to fly from Leeds to Islamabad with 156 people on board.
PIA employees have also been periodically investigated for drug-smuggling, especially after drugs were seized from a Dubai-bound flight in 2016.


OECD forecast sees global growth at decade low

Updated 22 November 2019

OECD forecast sees global growth at decade low

  • Governments failing to get to grips with challenges, outlook says

PARIS: The global economy is growing at the slowest pace since the financial crisis as governments leave it to central banks to revive investment, the OECD said on Thursday in an update of its forecasts.

The world economy is projected to grow by a decade-low 2.9 percent this year and next, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its Economic Outlook, trimming its 2020 forecast from an estimate of 3 percent in September.

Offering meagre consolation, the Paris-based policy forum forecast growth would edge up to 3 percent in 2021, but only if a myriad of risks ranging from trade wars to an unexpectedly sharp Chinese slowdown is contained.

A bigger concern, however, is that governments are failing to get to grips with global challenges such as climate change, the digitalization of their economies and the crumbling of the multilateral order that emerged after the fall of Communism.

“It would be a policy mistake to consider these shifts as temporary factors that can be addressed with monetary or fiscal policy: they are structural,” OECD chief economist Laurence Boone wrote in the report.

Without clear policy direction on these issues, “uncertainty will continue to loom high, damaging growth prospects,” she added.

Among the major economies, US growth was forecast at 2.3 percent this year, trimmed from 2.4 percent in September as the fiscal impulse from a 2017 tax cut waned and amid weakness among US trading partners.

With the world’s biggest economy seen growing 2 percent in 2020 and 2021, the OECD said further interest rate cuts would be warranted only if growth turned weaker.

China, which is not an OECD member but is tracked by it, was forecast to grow marginally faster in 2019 than had been expected in September, with growth of 6.2 percent rather than 6.1 percent.

However, the OECD said that China would keep losing momentum, with growth of 5.7 percent expected in 2020 and 5.5 percent in 2021 in the face of trade tensions and a gradual rebalancing of activity away from exports to the domestic economy.

In the euro area, growth was seen at 1.2 percent in 2019 and 1.1 percent in 2020, up both years by 0.1 percentage point on the September forecast. It is seen at 1.2 percent in 2021.

The OECD warned that the relaunch of bond buying at the European Central Bank would have a limited impact if euro area countries did not boost investment.

The outlook for Britain improved marginally from September as the prospect of a no-deal exit from the EU recedes.

British growth was upgraded to 1.2 percent this year from 1 percent previously and was seen at 1 percent in 2020.