Pakistani pilot sent as Lankan
By Marisa de Silva
SriLankan Airlines sent a Pakistani pilot to Singapore, allegedly posing off as a Sri Lankan to avoid visa formalities, alleged airline sources. The pilot, S. Kazi, had been provided with a SriLankan Airlines pilot’s uniform and a Crew Certificate which enabled him to pass through immigration authorities in Sri Lanka and proceed to Singapore unquestioned, airline sources claimed.

The Crew Certificate enables the holder to enter any country without having to get their passports endorsed. Pakistani nationals are not granted visas on arrival following the 9/11 attacks in the US.

Sources alleged that the act had the approval of the Senior Flight Operations Manager as only he had the authority to issue Crew Member Certificates to technical crew who were security cleared prior to being employed.

Mr. Kazi left Katunayake via flight UL 312 code share EK6174 on July 24, this year. Having completed the aptitude test at the Singapore Airlines Simulator Centre, he was allegedly smuggled out again on UL 312 code share EK6174, the very next day (July 25).

Civil Aviation Authority Director General (CAASL) H.M.C. Nimalsiri, said he had asked SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer Peter Hill to submit an official explanation within the week.

“Depending on the Airline’s explanation, we will take necessary action” and added that no such Pakistani pilot had been employed or approved by the CAASL.

“The pilot was given a ‘Letter of Intent’, which means that the Airline intended to recruit him, and sent him on a General Declaration (which enables Airline employees entry and exit to other countries without a visa) for a Simulator Test and return the same evening,” a SriLankan Airlines spokesman said.

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