International

PIA pays $7 million to jet company after plane seized in Malaysia

PIA Malaysia

PIA has paid about $7 million to Irish company a week after a plane of national flag carrier was seized in Malaysia over a lease dispute.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) told the London High Court that it has paid about $7 million to Peregrine Aviation Charlie Ltd in the case relating to two jets leased to it by the Dublin-based AerCap.

The development came after last Friday when on the orders of a local Malaysian court, the Malaysian authorities seized a PIA Boeing-777 at Kuala Lumpur airport over the failure to pay aircraft lease dues owed to AerCap, based in Dublin.

Lawyers for both the PIA and the airliner were requesting an adjournment as they hoped that without the court imposing a sanction against PIA, the entire amount would be paid by an arrangement.

Erin Hitchens, the airline lawyer, appeared online and asked the judge to postpone the hearing while the parties settled the lease, rent, interest, lease, and payment distribution problems.

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

The court was told that after it applied for the modification of its lawsuit in July, PIA did not make payments and that it owed the airliner $580,000 a month, but it did not pay and the lawsuit was launched.

In October 2020, the leasing firm filed a lawsuit in London High Court against PIA over its failure to pay the leasing fee that had been pending for six months, worth around $14 million.

In response, PIA took the stance that as the COVID-19 pandemic had seriously damaged the aviation industry, overhead charges should be reduced.

Meanwhile, the leasing company kept an eye on the activities of PIA and appealed to a local court to seize the aircraft as soon as it obtained the details of the planned landing of flight 895 in Malaysia, according to international civil aviation leasing rules, sources added.

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