ISLAMABAD / KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Pakistan International Airlines plane has been detained by Malaysian authorities over a British court case over the jet charter, the airline said on Friday, adding it would pursue the matter through diplomatic channels.
The Boeing 777 was seized after a court order, an airline spokesman said, and alternative arrangements were being made for passengers flying from Kuala Lumpur back to Pakistan.
“A PIA plane has been detained by a local court in Malaysia for taking a unilateral decision regarding a legal dispute between PIA and other parties pending in British courts,” a PIA spokesman said in a statement.
According to an order issued by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday seen by Reuters, the plaintiffs in the case are Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited and the matter relates to two jets chartered to PIA by Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft lessor, on 2015..
They are part of a portfolio that AerCap sold to Peregrine Aviation Co Ltd, an investment unit of NCB Capital, the brokerage arm of SJSC National Commercial Bank, in 2018.
Under an interim ruling, PIA is prohibited from moving the two aircraft in its fleet – the Boeing 777- 200ER serial number 32716 and the Boeing 777- 200ER serial number 32717 – after they land or park at Kuala Lumpur International Airport until further hearings on the matter later this month. this.
Tracking data from Flightradar24 shows only one of the two Boeing 777s covered by the court order is currently in Kuala Lumpur. The others were last recorded in Karachi last month. AerCap, which continued as part of an agreement to provide Peregrine with rental management services, declined to comment.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the country’s airport operator, and its subsidiaries were ordered to ensure planes do not leave Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Malaysia’s Transport Ministry said in a statement on Friday that the plane was being held pending legal proceedings set for January 24.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd said the problem was not related to the operation of the airport.
The PIA in a statement described the situation as “unacceptable” and said it had sought support from the Pakistani government to raise the issue diplomatically.
The Malaysian prime minister’s office and the foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry said efforts were being made to address the problem.
“Our High Commission in Malaysia is in close contact with the relevant Malaysian authorities and Pakistan International Airlines to resolve the issue,” said ministry spokesman Zahid Hafeez in a statement, adding that the passengers would be flown home on Friday.
With more than $ 4 billion in accumulated losses, PIA was already struggling financially when flights were suspended last year due to the pandemic.
After resuming operations in May, a domestic PIA flight crash in Karachi killed 97 of the 99 people on board.
Pakistan’s aviation industry was then hit by a scandal in which pilots were found to have “dubious” licenses – prompting a number of countries to ban PIA from operating flights in their jurisdictions.
The airline has been barred from flying to the European Union for six months due to safety compliance issues under the ban that is still in force.
Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield in Islamabad, Syed Raza Hassan in Karachi, Joseph Sipalan and Liz Lee from Kuala Lumpur, and Tim Hepher in Paris; Written by Gibran Peshimam; Edited by Jason Neely and Susan Fenton