PIA plane ‘held back’ by Malaysian authorities over UK court case

 A Pakistan International Airlines plane has been held back by Malaysian authorities over a British court case, the airline said on Friday, adding that it would pursue the matter through diplomatic channels.

The Boeing 777 aircraft was seized after a court order, an airline spokesman said, and alternative arrangements were being made for passengers due to fly back to Pakistan.

“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,” a PIA spokesman said in a statement.

The national carrier in a statement described the situation as “unacceptable” and said it had asked for support from Pakistan’s government to raise the matter diplomatically.

The company did not say where the plane was being held. The spokesman told Reuters that the matter related to an arbitration case overpayments being heard in a UK court. Further details of the case were not immediately available.

Malaysian authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With more than $4 billion in accumulated losses, PIA was already struggling financially when flights were grounded last year due to the pandemic.

As it resumed operations in May, a domestic PIA flight crash in Karachi killed 97 of 99 people on board.

Pakistan’s aviation industry was then hit by a scandal in which pilots were found to hold dubious licenses – prompting a number of countries to ban PIA from operating flights in their jurisdictions.

The airline was banned from flying to the European Union for six months over safety compliance concerns under a ban still in place.  Reuters

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