An aircraft of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), that was stopped by Malaysian authorities from flying to Islamabad at Kuala Lumpur International Airport over a legal dispute, took off for Islamabad on Friday night (at 9:30pm), after the issue was settled.
Sources said Boeing 777 was released by Malaysian authorities after a local court set aside a previous decision and issued orders in favour of the national carrier to release the plane. The plane, with registration number AP-BMH, was operated from Kuala Lumpur to Islamabad as a ferry flight with no passenger on board.
The court order said that the ex parte injunction order dated May 26, 2023 was set aside; and the originating summons dated May 24, 2023 was stuck out with no order as to costs.
The leasing company of the aircraft had approached the court claiming that PIA owed it $4.5 million.
The claim was rejected by the PIA, stating that it owned the aircraft and the leasing company only owned one of the mounted engines. The national carrier said the leasing company only owned one of the engines and it had already paid $1.8 million for it.
Meanwhile, PIA Spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan confirmed that the aircraft seized at Kuala Lumpur International Airport was released on Friday evening after a local court set aside the May 26 order.
Passengers of the flight had been accommodated on an alternative aircraft when it was stopped there four days ago. The aircraft, released on Friday, was operating with no passenger on board.
A PIA spokesperson said the claim submitted by the company to seek the impounding order was ‘incorrect’. He added that the national carrier had engaged its legal team in Kuala Lumpur to contest the matter in the court.
The spokesperson stated that the passengers of the disputed plane had been accommodated on an alternative aircraft. He continued that the disputed Boeing 777 would also operate as a normal commercial flight from Kuala Lumpur.
In January 2021, another PIA's Boeing 777 was stopped in Malaysia for about two weeks over a case involving $14 million in unpaid dues.