The Viet Nam Civil Aviation Department will launch an inspection of its national flag carrier's foreign pilots next week to ensure they have the correct flying experience and documents.
Department deputy director Lai Xuan Thanh said on Tuesday that the decision followed a request from South Korea's Pusan International Airport to provide details of a South Korean pilot working for Vietnam Airlines and the latter's flight requirements for its pilots.
Pilot Kim Tea Hun, deputy captain of flight VN970, was suspected to have operated without a flying licence and adequate compulsory flight hours. His plane, which departed from HCM City last April, had to abort one attempt before it landed at Pusan Airport.
Thanh said Vietnam Airlines had shown Kim's licence, issued by Indonesian Civil Aviation, and confirmation of his 680 hours flying experience from Indonesia.
The department had asked the Indonesian department to check the legality of the documents and still awaited a reply, he said.
Viet Nam's national flag carrier has to hire some 150 foreign pilots a year as there are only enough Vietnamese pilots for three quarters of its flights. Non-Vietnamese pilots usually get much higher salaries than their domestic fellows. — VNS