Pakistani pilots training on Rafale fake news: Envoy

Rafale fighter aircraft

New Delhi,  France has denied reports that Pakistani pilots under an exchange programme with Qatar were being trained to fly Rafale fighter jets.

“I can confirm that it is fake news,” tweeted French Ambassador to India Alexan Ziegler, putting to rest speculations that Pakistani pilots had got hands on the Rafales before they were inducted into the Indian Air Force.

A February report of AIN Online had gone viral claiming that the first batch of pilots trained for Qatar (which has also ordered French Rafale jets like India) in November 2017 were Pakistani exchange officers.

Qatar had placed two separate orders for 36 Rafale jets. The first of the aircraft was delivered in February.

The delivery of Rafale for India was expected to start by September.