In general, this is a ridiculous bit of yellow journalism. Pilots and co-pilots of commercial aircraft must have an ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) rating, or the international/ICAI equivalent. This was no student pilot in the cockpit. Because of the nature of long international flights, both pilots must be qualified in commanding the aircraft. The overdramatization and sheer creative writing I read in this report is reprehensible.
As to what happened with this particular flight, that’s another thing altogether, but their representation of the co-pilot’s qualifications should have been left on the cutting room floor.
Obviously you have never flown with an ex-Military jet pilot.