PIA pays USD 7 mn to Irish company after plane seized in Malaysia over lease dispute

Malaysian authorities last week seized a PIA Boeing-777 at the Kuala Lumpur airport on the orders of a local court over the non-payment of aircraft lease dues owed to the AerCap.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has informed the London High Court that it has paid USD 7 million to an Irish jet company, a week after a plane of the cash-strapped national flag carrier with 170 passengers on board was seized at the Kuala Lumpur airport over a lease dispute.

The PIA informed a judge at the London High Court on Friday that it has paid around USD 7 million to the Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited in the case pertaining to two jets leased to it by the Dublin-based AerCap, Dunya TV reported.

Malaysian authorities last week seized a PIA Boeing-777 at the Kuala Lumpur airport on the orders of a local court over the non-payment of aircraft lease dues owed to the AerCap.

Lawyers for both the PIA and the airliner sought adjournment on Friday to a later date in the hope that the full amount will be paid through an agreement without the court issuing any order against the PIA, the report said.

The Dublin-based AerCap’s lawyer told the court: “The claimant’s position is that the sums were paid today by the defendant (PIA).”

The court was informed that the PIA didn’t make payments since it asked for the amendment of its claim in July and that it owed USD 580,000 per month to the airliner, but it didn’t pay and litigation was initiated, the report said.

The leasing company had filed a case against the PIA in London High Court in October 2020 over its failure to pay the leasing fee worth about USD 14 million which had been pending for six months.

In response, Pakistan’s national carrier had maintained that since the COVID-19 pandemic had seriously affected the aviation industry, there should be a reduction in the overhead charges.

Meanwhile, the leasing company kept an eye on the activities of PIA, and as soon as it received the information of flight 895’s scheduled landing in Malaysia, it appealed to a local court to seize the aircraft as per the international civil aviation leasing laws, sources added.

The Boeing 777 aircraft was seized after London High Court issued the order, an airline spokesman had said.

Dunya TV reported that in the London court the flag carrier’s lawyers raised no objections about the seizure of its plane in Malaysia.

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