Grounded PIA plane arrives in Pakistan

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane, held in Malaysia for nearly two weeks due to a British court case over the jet’s lease, arrived in Pakistan on Friday.

The Boeing 777 aircraft arrived in Islamabad, along with 173 passengers on Friday evening. A Malaysian court on Wednesday had ordered the immediate release of the plane that was held in the Southeast Asian country.

Malaysian authorities seized the aircraft on January 15 after a court allowed an application 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 matter was settled on January 27 between the leasing company and the national carrier.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered the immediate release of the plane after both sides said they had reached an amicable settlement to the dispute, involving two planes leased to PIA, according to a lawyer representing the airline.

Read More: PIA plane ‘impounded’ in Malaysia over $14m lease dispute

“Peregrine has agreed to withdraw its suit against PIAC (Pakistan International Airlines Corp) and for the injunction orders to be set aside,” said PIA counsel Kwan Will Sen.

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

The two jets were leased to PIA by Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft lessor, 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 as part of the agreement to provide lease management services to Peregrine, has declined to make any comment on the case.

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

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)