May 18, 2022

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PIA’s flight seized by Malaysian authorities due to delay in payment issues

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight has been taken into legal possession by Malaysian authorities. PIA announced the matter through a tweet on Friday. PIA also mentioned that it will handle the matter through the diplomatic channel.

The official handle of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) tweeted, “A PIA aircraft has been held back by a local court in Malaysia taking a one-sided decision pertaining to a legal dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court.”

It further added, “The passengers are being looked after and alternate arrangements for their travel have been finalized.”

The Boeing 777 aircraft was seized after the order of the Kuala Lumpur High Court. Another aircraft was arranged for passengers to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Pakistan. 

The plane was seized into a matter involving a $14m lease dispute, said a PIA official. 

PIA spokesman Abdullah H Khan said in an issued statement, “A PIA aircraft has been held back by a local court in Malaysia taking a one-sided decision pertaining to a legal dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court.”

Later in a video statement, Khan said “We were told that the plane has been impounded on a court order……PIA’s legal team will pursue it in the Malaysian court, and we hope that we will resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

The case was filed by Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited, and the matter is related to two jets taken on lease by PIA from Dublin-based AerCap.

IN 2015, AerCap was the largest lessor in the world. Its headquarters is based in Dublin, and other offices are situated in Shannon, Los Angeles, Singapore, Amsterdam, Shanghai, and Abu Dhabi. The aircraft leasing company also has its representatives’ office in leading aircraft manufacturing companies, Boeing in Seattle and Airbus in Toulouse.

The two aircraft leased by PIA were seized due to the nonpayment of their lease dues. The Boeing-777 manufactured by a Vietnamese company in 2015 is also among the two seized planes.

According to the interim injunction, Kuala Lumpur International Airport has restrained Pakistan International Airlines from using the two aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER with serial number 32716 and a Boeing 777-200ER with serial number 32717.

Tracking data from Flightradar24 shows only one of the two planes, named Boeing 777s, is seized by the court’s order. The other plane was tracked last month in the southern city of Pakistan, Karachi.

AerCap which is still associated with Peregrine has declined to comment. AerCap will continue to provide ease management services to Peregrine.

The Ministry of Transport of Malaysia said in a statement that the airplane was held for a pending legal procession of Jan 24. PIA had asked the Pakistan government to help it solve the matter diplomatically and also accused that the behavior of Malaysia’s authority is “unacceptable”. 

Pak Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri has said that Pakistan’s High Commission in Malaysia is contacting the Malaysian authorities and PIA to solve the issue as soon as possible.

Opposition PML-N Secretary information Marriyum Aurangzeb criticizes the government for shaming the country in front of the whole country. 

Marriyam accused the PM and called him an “incompetent, corrupt and inept imposed government”. 

She said, “Was the illegal foreign funding sent to Imran with an agenda of destroying the country’s economy, obliterating all businesses, creating mass unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, and causing such embarrassment to Pakistan? Was it sent to Imran Khan so that he would declare all degrees of Pakistani pilots illegal to get a blanket ban imposed on the national flag carrier?”

PIA has already faced a loss of $4bn in the coronavirus pandemic due to the cancellation of flights. After the resumption of flights, 7 out of 99 people on board a domestic plane died after a crash.