Asia

Swift Air claims to own Malaysia 'abandoned' planes

  • 11 December 2015
  • From the section Asia
One of three Boeing 747 aircraft that have been abandoned at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Image copyright EPA
Image caption Airport authorities say they will auction off or scrap the aeroplanes if not claimed by 21 December

An air cargo company in Malaysia says it owns three Boeing 747 jets which officials said were left unclaimed at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Swift Air Cargo says it has been trying to retrieve them, but Malaysia Airports disputes its paperwork.

Malaysia Airports took out a newspaper advert this week seeking the planes' owners. It has said it has identified "multiple owners" of the planes.

The airport group has not yet responded to Swift's claims.

The BBC's attempts to reach Malaysia Airports for comment have been unsuccessful.

The group previously said the planes have been parked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport for more than a year, and that the jets had to be claimed within 14 days.

Swift Air Cargo released a statement saying it purchased them from a Hong Kong company in June, and had been meeting with Malaysian airport officials since then to collect them.

Image caption An excerpt of a bill of sale of the jets to Swift Air Cargo (previously known as Splunk n Dash) provided to the BBC

Chief executive officer Blue Peterson claims that Malaysia Airports has refused to give him access to the planes, saying they needed to verify his paperwork.

He told the BBC that officials wanted to see his registration papers. "But the planes have yet to be registered as they must first undergo maintenance checks. And I can't even go on the property to look at my own planes," he said.

The planes were last registered in Iceland under one of its previous owners, Air Atlanta Icelandic, but were subsequently deregistered in 2011 and 2012, according to Malaysian media reports.

Malaysia Airports' managing director Badlisham Ghazali told reporters on Thursday that the group has identified the multiple owners of the planes but it was "difficult to trace them".

The group says it will auction off or scrap the aeroplanes if they are not claimed by 21 December.

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