A fresh wave of turmoil hit Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) as one of its Boeing 777 aircraft, acquired on lease from Malaysia, was seized at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport over a persistent lease dispute. According to the latest report from ARY News, the aircraft with the registration number BMH found itself embroiled in a tense legal battle for the second time due to unpaid dues amounting to a staggering $4 million.
Prompted by an order from a local court, the leasing company wasted no time in executing the seizure, asserting its rights after the payment of the long-standing outstanding dues. This development follows a similar incident in 2021 when the same PIA aircraft faced detainment by the Kuala Lumpur airport authorities for the identical dues issue.
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Fortunately, diplomatic assurances regarding the settlement of the dues resulted in the release of the aircraft on the previous occasion. However, this time around, the dispute escalated to the point where the leasing company took decisive action, causing significant disruption to PIA’s operations and leaving the airline in a precarious position.
After an arduous legal battle, the seized PIA plane has finally been brought back to its home country. On January 27, the aircraft, carrying 173 passengers and crew members, touched down at Islamabad airport, marking the end of a nerve-wracking ordeal for those onboard.
While the return of the aircraft brings temporary relief, the recurrence of such a dispute raises concerns about PIA’s financial management and its ability to honor its contractual obligations. The airline now faces the challenge of regaining its stability and restoring its reputation in the wake of these high-profile incidents.
As PIA strives to address the underlying issues, industry observers and passengers will closely monitor the airline’s progress to ensure that such lease disputes do not disrupt its operations or compromise the safety and satisfaction of travelers.