A Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777 has been repossessed while on the ground in Kuala Lumpur after arriving from Islamabad, waiting to return to Pakistan. Passengers were already on board. Crewmembers, since they’d arrived from outside the country and could no longer depart immediately, were all sent to quarantine.
According to a Pakistan International Airlines spokesperson,
A PIA aircraft has been held back by a local court in Malaysia taking a one-sided decision pertaining to a legal dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court.
The Boeing 777, registration AP-BMH, was previously leased to Vietnam Airlines. It was leased to PIA by AerCap in 2015. The aircraft was sold to National Commercial Bank subsidiary Peregrine Aviation Co Ltd. in 2018 but AerCap continues to manage the lease.
Aircraft AP-BMG, also previously leased to Vietnam Airlines and transferred to Pakistan International Airlines in 2015, is covered by the dispute as well though that plane hasn’t flown to Malaysia and was last recorded in Pakistan in December.
The operator of Kuala Lumpur airport was ordered by a court to ensure the aircraft didn’t depart, “pending legal proceedings set for Jan. 24.”
Boeing 777 on Approach to New York JFK in 2014, Copyright zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo
Pakistan International Airlines is the worst airline in the world. Best known for sacrificing a goat for safety and flying with more passengers than seats (and making customers stand for 1700 miles), the airline’s former CEO was actually detained as a result of his efforts to provide good seats and service by wet leasing aircraft from SriLankan.
At PIA even operating on time creates problems: customers build failure into their expectations and don’t actually show up for flights when they’re scheduled to depart. So being offloaded in order for an aircraft to be impounded is more or less par for the course.