A plane belonging to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been held by Malaysian authorities due to a British court case over the rental of the aircraft, the airline said Friday.
The Boeing 777 was seized after a court order, an airline spokesman said, and alternative arrangements were being made for passengers who were to fly from Kuala Lumpur back to Pakistan.
“A PIA plane has been held by a local court in Malaysia making a unilateral decision regarding a legal dispute between the airline and another party pending in a UK court,” the airline spokesman said.
According to orders approved by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday and seen by Reuters, the plaintiff in the case is Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited and the matter concerns two aircraft leased to PIA by Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft lessor, in 2015.
Under the interim order, PIA cannot move two aircraft from its fleet – the Boeing 777-200ERs with serial numbers 32716 and 32717 – once they have landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport until a new hearing on the matter is held later this month.
The Malaysian Ministry of Transport said in a statement Friday that the aircraft was being held pending legal proceedings set for January 24.
PIA in a statement described the situation as “unacceptable” and said it had requested the support of the Pakistani government to raise the issue diplomatically.
By Charlotte Greenfield, Syed Raza Hassan, Joseph Sipalan and Liz Lee, Tim Hepher and Gibran Peshimam; edited by Jan Harvey, Jason Neely and Susan Fenton