A Boeing 777-200 passenger jet operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has reportedly been seized by Malaysian officials at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in a dispute over missing lease payments with the owners of the aircraft.
The 777, registered as AP-BMH, landed in Kuala Lumpur at around midday on Sunday after a six-hour flight from Islamabad but has yet to return to Pakistan. According to data supplied by Flight Radar 24, the normal turnaround time is just an hour and a half.
Local media report that the aircraft was seized at the behest of a leasing company which managed to obtain a court order in Malaysia over allegations that PIA has failed to pay $4 million in duties.
PIA has been operating the 777 since 2015 on a dry lease arrangement from the Irish aviation leasing company AerCap Holdings.
This is the second time that Malaysian officials have seized the exact same aircraft from PIA in a dispute over non-payment of aircraft lease due. The first time the aircraft was impounded was in January 2021, when passengers had already boarded the plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
At the time, AerCap was pursuing a legal case against PIA in London’s High Court, but PIA managed to get diplomatic assurances over the missing lease payments to secure the release of the plane.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.