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Pakistan airlines 777 seized twice in Malaysia within 2.5 years

Although there is a proverb that states that lightning never strikes the same location again, it is also normally extremely rare and practically unheard of for the same aircraft to be taken by the same country twice. After being impounded in Malaysia twice in less than three years, a specific widebody operated by Pakistan International Airlines has experienced this odd fate.

A two-year-old had their first seizure.

The widebody in question is a Boeing 777-200ER with the registration AP-BMH. It was previously registered VN-A150 and flew for Vietnam Airlines from December 2005 until October 2015 before being leased out and adding to Pakistan International Airlines’ fleet a few months later. January 2021, just over two years ago, saw the aircraft fly PK 894, a regularly scheduled service between Islamabad International Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Sadly, after being seized by Malaysian officials after all passengers had boarded, the aircraft was unable to operate the regularly scheduled flight service home.

At that time, the local law enforcement acknowledged that they had received orders from a Malaysian court to confiscate the Boeing 777 due to Pakistan International Airlines’ failure to pay its debts to Dublin-based aircraft lessor Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited for unpaid aircraft leasing dues.The leasing company claimed that in July 2020, the national carrier of Pakistan ceased making payments.

It stated that a case had been brought against PIA in London High Court in October for failing to pay a leasing cost of around $14 million that had been outstanding for six months. Pakistan International Airlines responded by claiming that since the epidemic had an impact on the aviation sector, overhead fees ought to have been decreased.

Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited closely monitored the actions of the flag carrier without any negotiated agreements or payments. And after being informed of PK 895’s planned landing in Malaysia, the aircraft lessor petitioned the Malaysian court to confiscate the aircraft in accordance with global civil aviation leasing laws.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court only ordered the release of the impounded vehicle after two weeks had passed and both parties claimed to have reached a settlement amicably.

Two years later, there was again another seizure.

Unfortunately, fate is not on the side of Pakistan International Airlines and AP-BMH because on May 29th, the widebody was once more taken into custody. Interestingly, AP-BMH, which was flying as Flight PK 894, was detained by Malaysian officials upon arriving in Kuala Lumpur for the exact same reason. The airline’s failure to pay its debts is worth around $4 million less this time, though.

It is not yet known if the outstanding lease payments were due to the same aircraft lessor as before or to a new party. Whether this impasse can be resolved soon or if it will take many days, as it did previously, is also unknown. Pakistan International Airlines has not yet provided a response or remark as of this writing.

The fact that a second Boeing 777-200ER was dispatched to transport the stranded passengers and crew back in response to the impounding of AP-BMH is certain. The older widebody, which is registered as AP-BGK, arrived back in Islamabad at around 7:56, and has since been temporarily deployed to run the Islamabad-Kuala Lumpur route planned to begin on June 1.

Due to the airline’s ongoing financial difficulties in the post-pandemic environment, this most recent seizure brings attention to its problems. Since having a Boeing 777 held in a foreign nation for any length of time will only make the airline’s problems worse, let’s hope the new seizure can be resolved more quickly than it was the prior time.

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