10 February 2021
On 27 January 2021 the Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered the immediate release of a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft. The aircraft had been grounded and detained at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) for two weeks as a result of a mandatory injunction. The detention of the aircraft had garnered significant domestic and international media attention. This is believed to be the first Malaysian case to involve a mandatory injunction to ground an aircraft.
The case arose from a dispute between an Irish aircraft leasing company, Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited, and the national airline carrier of Pakistan, Pakistan International Airlines, due to an alleged failure by the airline to make payments for two Boeing 777 aircrafts pursuant to certain aircraft leasing agreements.
Although legal proceedings between the two parties were pending in the United Kingdom and the dispute did not involve any Malaysian entity, Peregrine Aviation filed an ex parte injunction application in the Malaysian courts on the basis that the two Boeing 777 aircrafts were believed to have landed or parked at KLIA as part of a standard flight route between Islamabad and Kuala Lumpur.
Peregrine Aviation also applied for the mandatory injunction to be extended to Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad and Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd on the basis that both were involved as the operator of KLIA.
On 14 January 2021 the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted Peregrine Aviation’s ex parte injunction application. Consequently, one of the aircrafts was grounded and detained by Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd at KLIA shortly before it was due to fly back to Pakistan. The other aircraft was not located at KLIA at the material time.
However, following an amicable settlement reached between Peregrine Aviation and Pakistan International Airlines, the high court has now set aside the mandatory injunction and ordered the immediate release of the aircraft. The high court also ordered Peregrine Aviation to pay Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad and Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd costs for legal expenses incurred as a result of the grounding.
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