ISLAMABAD: The 172 passengers on board a PIA Boeing 777 aircraft that was impounded in Malaysia on Friday will be returning to Pakistan via Emirates and Qatar Airways flights on Saturday and Sunday respectively, a statement from the national carrier said.
On Friday, the Pakistan International Airlines plane was held back in Malaysia following a court order, the airline said, adding that the case involved a $14 million lease dispute underway in a British court.
Pakistan’s foreign office 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.
“PIA’s Kuala Lumpur flight’s passengers will reach Islamabad in the evening today (Saturday),” the PIA handout said, and added the PIA ground staff in Dubai and Doha were ensuring the stranded passengers were well taken care of.
Earlier, spokesman for the national carrier, Abdullah Khan, said the situation was “unacceptable” and that the airline’s legal team would pursue the matter with Pakistan’s official and diplomatic assistance.
On Friday evening, Malaysia’s state news agency, Bernama, said the country’s Transport Ministry had opted to refrain from commenting on the impounded plane.
“It was reported that the Boeing 777 aircraft was seized after a court order and alternative arrangements were being made for passengers due to fly back to Pakistan,” the statement said.