Malaysian court docket orders launch of seized PIA plane after dispute with leasing agency resolved

Islamabad, January 27

A Boeing 777 aircraft of cash-strapped Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) held in Malaysia has been released and arrangements are being made to fly it back home, according to an official statement here on Wednesday.

The aircraft—with 170 passengers on board—was held back in Kuala Lumpur on January 15 over a lease dispute case between the national flag carrier and an Irish company.

In a statement on Wednesday, the PIA said the issue with the leasing company had been resolved and a Malaysian court had dismissed the matter with the consent of all parties.

“We are sending our crew to Malaysia to bring back the plane. It will come back as a regular passenger flight within the next two days,” the PIA statement said.

The PIA had a USD 14-million dispute in a UK court with the plane’s lessor, Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited, which succeeded to get an order from a Malaysian court to seize the plane during a trip to Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysian court ordered the release of the plane after a settlement was arrived at between the two sides.

The PIA had leased the plane in 2015, as part of a routine practice, to meet the shortages of planes.

The national flag carrier has been going through difficult times since the crash of its airliner in Karachi last year which led to the disclosure by the Aviation Ministry that dozens of local pilots had fake licences. — PTI

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