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PIA aircraft held in Malaysia returns home: spokesperson

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KARACHI: A Pakistan International Airlines spokesperson Tuesday said the company’s Boeing 777 aircraft, held by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur, was released a few hours later and reached Islamabad late Monday night.

The PIA spokesperson said the matter was resolved through diplomatic channels.

A day earlier, the PIA flight — PK-894 — was stopped for a few hours following court orders issuing a stay on the aircraft due to issues pertaining to a lease on request by a foreign company.

The flight was stopped by authorities in Malaysia as soon as it reached Kuala Lumpur.

“Boeing 777 aircraft is owned by the PIA. The engine leasing company had secured a stay on the plane by submitting incorrect data in a Malaysian court,” the spokesperson said.

He added that the leasing company claimed $4.5 billion, which was incorrect. The spokesperson mentioned that the amount owed to the leasing company by the PIA was $1.8 billion, which has been paid already.

“Cases of stopping the plane this way and extorting money are unprecedented in the world, especially when both the leasing company and PIA are not local companies in Malaysia,” the spokesperson said.

After this development, according to the spokesperson, the national airline approached the court through its lawyers in Malaysia, where the matter is currently being heard.

PIA also clarified that it had already repatriated the passengers of this flight through an alternative aircraft. It had earlier mentioned that the aircraft would soon return home as a commercial flight.

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