Amount due

PIA did not pay the amount of the lease “due to Covid”

The minister said PIA officials will appear in a London court on January 22 and a Malaysian court on January 24

RAWALPINDI:

Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said on Saturday Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) failed to pay rent on time due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Malaysian court issued an order without listening the arguments of the national carrier.

Speaking to the media, the minister said PIA officials would appear in a London court on January 22 and a Malaysian court on January 24, after which the national carrier would accept the courts’ decision.

The PIA acquired the expensive leased plane during the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) tenure, he added.

“Two PIA planes were leased by the PML-N government in 2015, which expired in June, but due to the coronavirus their deposits were not paid on time.

Read more: PIA plane “impounded” in Malaysia following dispute over $ 14 million lease

“Our case concerning the plane is already pending in a UK court,” said Sarwar. “In the meantime, our plane has been stopped by filing a lawsuit in Malaysian court… without notice or ruling.”

The PIA spokesperson said on Friday that the plane had been withheld by Malaysian authorities over a UK court case over the plane’s lease, adding that he would pursue the case through diplomatic channels.

The Boeing 777 plane was seized following a court ruling, the spokesperson said, and alternative arrangements were being made for passengers who were to return from Kuala Lumpur to Pakistan.

The case involved a $ 14 million rental dispute, a PIA official said. “A PIA plane has been detained by a local court in Malaysia which has ruled unilaterally in a dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“PIA’s legal team will pursue the matter in Malaysian court, and we hope we resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

According to orders issued by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday, the plaintiff in the case is Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited and the case concerns two jets leased from PIA by AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft rental company, based in Dublin. , in 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 National Commercial Bank SJSC, in 2018. According to the interim injunction, PIA is prevented move two planes from its fleet. – a Boeing 777-200ER with serial number 32716 and a Boeing 777-200ER with serial number 32717 – once they have landed or parked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport until a new hearing on the question later this month.

(With additional contribution from the news bureau)


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