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PIA 777 repossessed minutes before departure

written by Hannah Dowling | January 18, 2021

Pakistan International Airlines aircraft number AP-BMH pictured at Heathrow (Geograph/Thomas Nugent).

A Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane was seized on behalf of its lessor minutes before its scheduled departure from Kuala Lumpur, following an ongoing dispute.

Passengers were left stranded at Kuala Lumpur when the PIA Boeing 777 was seized by Malaysian authorities on behalf of its lessor, mere minutes before its scheduled departure, and already loaded with passengers and cargo bound for Pakistan.

An order from a British court allowed the move the take place, in light of the $14 million lease dispute between the lessor and PIA.

The airline has said it intends to pursue the matter through diplomatic channels, and all passengers due to fly on the aircraft were provided with alternative travel arrangements.

Speaking of the matter, a PIA spokesperson said: “A PIA aircraft has been held back by a local court in Malaysia taking a one-sided decision pertaining to a legal dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court”.

“We were told that the plane has been impounded on a court order,” the spokesperson said later.

“PIA’s legal team will pursue it in the Malaysian court, and we hope that we will resolve the issue as soon as possible”.


According to court documents, the $14 million dispute pertains to two Boeing 777-200ER jets leased to PIA by Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft lessor, back in 2015. 

The plaintiff in the case is Peregrine Aviation, which purchased the deal as part of a portfolio from AerCap in 2018.

As per an interim injunction, PIA is now restrained from moving the two aircraft from Kuala Lumpur Airport until a further hearing on the matter scheduled for later this month.

The matter is the latest in a long line of troubles for the Pakistani carrier.

The airline has reported more than $4 billion in accumulated losses, and faced global scrutiny following the investigation into a plane crash in Karachi that killed 97 people.

The investigation ultimately led authorities to question the validity of pilot’s licenses in Pakistan, after the crash was ruled to be caused by human error.

More than a third of Pakistani pilots were accused of gaining their licences under false pretences, by hiring a “dummy candidate” to sit their written exams in their place.

Since then, many jurisdictions around the global have introduced temporary bans on PIA operations until the airline can appropriately meet international safety guidelines.


  • B


    There is an error with this article either you’ve missed quoted the plane type as a 777 or the tweet that you’ve used as part of the source to refer to is incorrect as it’s clearly an airbus A320 in the image with impacted PIA passengers, and nothing is mentioned in the article to clarify or connect the discrepancy

    • Hannah Dowling


      Hi B, thanks for the comment – Goodness, it looks like our friend there on Twitter must have posted phoney photos for attention and I fell right for it! Not to worry, I’ll remove the tweet. All my sources, including court docs, state the incident involved a 777. Thanks for reading!

    • Wayne Williams.


      Don’t remember the A320 having an entry door towards the centre-ISH of the aircraft – I think they only have forward and aft doors. Good to B noticing though.

  • Raymond J Leone


    Don’t screw with Lessors

  • Madhavan P B


    The image is definitely a Boeing 777. And is not a an Airbus A320. It is advised that people check before they post ?

  • Wayne Williams


    The only aircraft on the PIA Fleet List with MH is listed as AP-BMH, a B777-200, and is currently “Parked”. Not sure what the “lsd” means thuogh. Could be “Local Shut Down”, “Lashed Secured Dunnaged”, (a shipping term), or “Landing Ship, Dock”, or “Licensing Services Division”. Or even “Limited Sight Distance” because PIA didn’t see this coming.
    (acronys from https://www.acronymfinder.com/LSD.html)

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