RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft, grounded at Kuala Lumpur International Airport over a legal dispute, finally arrived in the country on Saturday.

Earlier this week, a Malaysian court ordered authorities to seize PIA’s Boeing 777 aircraft after its leasing company had filed a claim for over $4.5 million in unpaid dues.

According to PIA, the plane was allowed to fly on Friday night after the court had set aside the orders. But since the plane didn’t have the transit clearance — permission to use the airspace of a neighbouring country — it couldn’t take off.

The aircraft departed from Kuala Lumpur as a ferry flight with no passengers on board after the permission was received, the airline’s spokesperson, Abdullah Hafeez Khan, said.

The court order issued on June 2 said: “The ex-parte injunction order dated May 26, 2023, is set aside; and the originating summons dated May 24, 2023, is stuck out with no order as to costs.”

According to the PIA spokesperson, the court suspended the orders after PIA’s legal team pleaded the case for three days.

Earlier, the airline had disputed the leasing company’s claim stating that it owned the aircraft and the leasing company only owned one of the mounted engines.

Mr Khan had said that the court had issued the order without summoning or listening to the PIA.

The airline and airport authorities received orders to ground the plane a few minutes before the flight’s planned departure on Monday.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2023

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