Thursday, May 6, 2021

Malaysia Orders Release of Pakistani Aircraft Detained Over Lease Dispute | Aviation News

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A PIA passenger plane was ordered to be released after it was held in Kuala Lumpur nearly two weeks ago.

A Malaysian court has ordered the immediate release of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane that was held up at Kuala Lumpur airport almost two weeks ago due to a UK court case over the lease of the l ‘plane.

Malaysian authorities grasped the Boeing 777 plane on January 15 after a court granted a request by the plane’s lessor, Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited, to keep it grounded pending the outcome of a $ 14 million lease dispute with PIA in a UK court.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered the plane’s immediate release on Wednesday after the two sides said they had reached an amicable settlement of the dispute over two planes leased from PIA, according to an attorney representing the airline.

“Peregrine has agreed to withdraw his lawsuit against PIAC (Pakistan International Airlines Corp) and quash the injunctions,” PIA attorney Kwan Will Sen said.

“With this, the two Boeing planes operated by PIAC would be released with immediate effect.”

Both jets were leased from PIA by Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft rental company, 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.

AerCap, which continued under the deal to provide lease management services to Peregrine, declined to comment on the case.

Lawyers representing Peregrine did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fraud claims

With more than $ 4 billion in cumulative losses, PIA had struggled financially when flights were stranded last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After operations resumed in May, a PIA domestic plane crash in Karachi killed 97 of the 99 people on board.

PIA later suspended 150 pilots after questions about the authenticity of their licenses emerged.

In June, the airline was banned from flying to the EU for six months due to safety concerns due to a ban still in place.

That same month, the Vietnam Civil Aviation Authority (CAAV) restrained all Pakistani pilots flying for domestic airlines in that country over concerns over their credentials.

Al Jazeera reported in July of Pakistani pilots’ claims that fraud and improper flight certification practices within the country’s civil aviation regulator were rampant and that aviation safety was routinely compromised by airlines due to faulty safety management systems, incomplete reporting and the use of regulatory waivers.

In September, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) advised Pakistan to take “immediate corrective action” and suspend the issuance of any new pilot licenses following a scandal over falsified licenses .



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