Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Saturday claimed that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) acquired plane on expensive lease during tenure of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Talking to reporters, the aviation minister said that PIA failed to pay lease amount on time due to coronavirus pandemic but Malaysian court issued order without listening to arguments of the airline. He said that PIA will appear before London court on January 22 and in Malaysian court on January 24. Meanwhile, a three-member committee has been constituted to review air service agreements between Pakistan and other countries where consultations will be held with PIA and private airlines, it emerged on Saturday. In a letter issued by Cabinet Secretariat, it was stated that the first meeting of the working group for reviewing the air service agreements will be held on January 20 at 9:30 am in the office of senior joint secretary of Aviation Division in Islamabad. The members of the committee include PIA chief commercial officer, director air transport and senior joint secretary of the Aviation Division. It will deliberate upon the expansion of flight operations of the national carrier to foreign countries, as well as regarding its frequency and routes. The review process will also cover the matters related to agreements and memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with other countries besides holding consultation for the requirements of the necessary amendment. The agenda of the working group’s meeting also includes reviewing on traffic rights in light of the agreements with foreign countries. It is pertinent to mention here that Malaysian authorities on Friday had seized Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing 777 over being defaulter of lease payment. 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 from Kuala Lumpur back to Pakistan. The case involved a $14 million lease dispute, a PIA official said. “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 had said in a statement. “We were told that the plane has been impounded on a court order. PIA’s legal team will pursue it in the Malaysian court, and we hope that we will resolve this issue as soon as possible.” According to orders passed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday, the plaintiff of the case is Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited and the matter pertains to two jets leased to PIA by Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft lessor, in 2015. They are part of a portfolio that AerCap sold to Peregrine Aviation Co Ltd, an investment unit of NCB Capital, the brokerage arm of National Commercial Bank SJSC, in 2018. According to the interim injunction, PIA is restrained from moving two aircraft in its fleet – a Boeing 777- 200ER with serial number 32716 and a Boeing 777- 200ER with serial number 32717 – once they have landed or parked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport until a further hearing on the matter later this month. Tracking data from Flightradar24 showed only one of the two Boeing 777s covered by the court order is currently in Kuala Lumpur. The other was last recorded in Karachi last month. AerCap, which continued as part of the agreement to provide lease management services to Peregrine, declined to comment. Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the country’s airport operator, and its subsidiary were ordered to make sure the aircraft do not leave Kuala Lumpur International Airport.