Two more airline pilots found with faked qualifications in India

Indian aviation regulators have found two more pilots with forged qualifications flying passenger planes, a report said on Wednesday, raising questions about safety on the country's booming airlines.

The Indian duo were flying as captains on flights for the IndiGo and MDLR airlines, but they had not passed the tests to graduate from co-pilot, The Times of India reported.

"While the licences are revoked, these cases have also been referred to the police for further action," Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Bharat Bhushan was quoted as saying.

Last month, the DGCA revoked the licence of a third pilot, also flying for IndiGo, who was found to have forged papers to get her airline transport pilot licence.

The pilot's qualifications and record were scrutinised after she caused damage to an Airbus A320 aircraft by landing the plane on the nose wheel instead of the rear wheels.

An investigation revealed she had landed planes incorrectly between 10 and 15 times, Indian media said.

Rising incomes and the liberalisation of the airline market in the 1990s has led to an explosion in air travel in India, with passenger numbers up 25 per cent over the last 12 months.

With new routes and new aircraft being regularly inducted, the half-dozen low-cost Indian airlines are competing fiercely for locally trained pilots.

To meet demand, many of them have had to resort to hiring more costly foreign pilots who are often from Eastern Europe.