The results of investigations in 2008-2009 showed that airlines desperate for staff were hiring pilots whose resumes had been faked, the newspaper China Business News cited Li Jiaxiang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, as telling a recent teleconference.
The report comes as the agency investigates safety measures nationwide following an August 24 crash that killed 42 people at a small airport in the northeast, in China's worst commercial airline disaster in nearly six years. Another 52 people were injured in the crash of the Brazilian-made Embraer 190 plane belonging to Henan Airlines during a nighttime landing at Yichun in Heilongjiang province.
Calls to CAAC's headquarters in Beijing rang unanswered on Monday. A staffer who answered the phone at Shenzhen Airlines, which reportedly had 103 of the pilots with faked work histories on the payroll, said he had no idea about the report.
Shenzhen Airlines is the parent company of Henan Airlines.
China's aviation industry has expanded rapidly in recent years and regulators have struggled to keep up.
Airports have proliferated as have small regional airlines, reaching into remote cities like Yichun - 150km from the Russian border - that are eager to develop tourism and other industries to catch up with the country's economic boom.