ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines announced on Friday its legal team would approach a court in Malaysia that ordered to impound one of its planes that was scheduled to fly out of Kuala Lumpur earlier in the day and bring back passengers to Pakistan.
“PIA was facing a payment dispute with another company and the matter was being heard by a court in the United Kingdom for the last six months,” said the airlines spokesman, Abdullah Khan, in a video message. “The same company also took a stay order against us in another country [Malaysia] and a local court issued an ex-party decision against the airlines without serving it a notice or hearing its stance.”
Khan added that the PIA legal team would pursue the matter with Pakistan's official and diplomatic assistance.
“It is important to mention here that this incident was timed to somewhat mitigate our response since it happened ahead of the weekend,” he maintained. “However, our legal team will take up the matter in the Malaysian court immediately after the weekend and we are hopeful to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”
Pakistan’s foreign office also issued a statement on Friday, saying its diplomatic mission in Malaysia was in close contact with relevant authorities over the detained plane and its stranded passengers.
“The passengers are being properly looked after and alternate arrangements for their travel have also been finalized,” the foreign office spokesperson, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, said while responding to a media query.
“They will be departing Kuala Lumpur by EK 343 later tonight,” he added.
The PIA plane was held back by Malaysian authorities over a British court case, PIA said in an earlier statement, adding it would pursue the matter through diplomatic channels.
“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’s statement said the situation was “unacceptable” and that it had asked for support from Pakistan’s government to raise the matter diplomatically. Malaysian authorities did not immediately respond to request for comment.