Global insight

Mystery owner claims abandoned B747-200 freighters

Mystery owner claims abandoned B747-200 freighters

A NEW Malaysian air cargo company is claiming ownership of the three B747 freighters dumped for more than a year at the country’s main airport.

Splunk n’ Dash (soon to be trading as Swift Air Cargo) says it is shocked by Kuala Lumpur airport authorities’ claims that the owner of the ‘abandoned’ geriatric cargo jets could not be traced, writes Nigel Tomkins.

Malaysia’s airport operator took the unusual step last week of posting advertisements in newspapers warning ‘unknown’ owners that the airport has the right to sell or dispose of the ‘planes unless they are collected within 14 days.

Yet Swift Air Cargo says it legally acquired the aircraft in June.

Reports say the company’s chief executive is Captain Blue Peterson, and that the sale of the aircraft to Swift Air Cargo was witnessed by solicitor Syed Amir Ibrahim of Syed Ibrahim & Co.

The new owner has since been in communication with Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, which is now demanding additional documentary proof of the purchase.

“We are dumbfounded and perplexed by Malaysia Airport’s move. Swift is the owner and we definitely have not forgotten the ‘planes,” says Swift’s lawyer, Syed Amir Syakib Arslan, according to local reports.

Malaysia Airports however insists the claim of ownership has not yet been satisfactorily verified and that it has asked the owner for additional information.

The newspaper advertisement was a normal legal process for debt recovery, it points out.

Reports say that Syed Amir says Swift has handed over the sale and purchase agreement, a legal declaration from the previous Hong Kong owner, as well as other original supporting documents to show ownership of the aircraft.

Furthermore, Swift is only liable for parking charges since June and is not responsible for previous dues. “We were waiting for yet another meeting to present more documentation and information when, instead, Malaysia Airports announced to the world that the owner of the ‘planes was missing,” he says.

The claims being made on ownership of the three aircraft currently parked at the KL International Airport (KLIA) could not be satisfactorily verified, according to Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

Original Air Cargo Eye story here:

LOST and found departments at major airports are accustomed to looking after mislaid umbrellas, handbags, coats – and even the occasional false leg.

But three un-liveried B747-200 freighters, left for an entire year on the tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, have baffled airport managers.

Malaysia Airports, the country’s biggest airport operator, has been forced to place a somewhat comically bizarre advertisement in the classifieds section of a local newspaper, after failing to trace the owner of the three long-haul cargo jets.

“If you fail to collect the aircraft within 14 days of the date of this notice, we reserve the right to sell or to set off any expenses and debt due to us,” it warns.

The owner is due to pay Malaysia Airports substantial parking charges.

The three Boeing 747-200Fs are reported as registration number TF-ARM, parked in Bay B61; TF-ARN, in Bay B61; and TF-ARH in Bay M3.

It is believed that the true owner is a defunct international firm.

Observers say two of three abandoned aircraft may have been leased under an ACMI agreement to MasKargo, Malaysia Airlines’ cargo section, from Air Atlanta Icelandic.

According to local reports, Malaysia Airports’ general manager Zainol Mohd Isa says the ‘planes have been parked at the airport for more than a year. “They’ve yet to pay the parking fee. Where do we send the bill?”

It is not known how much in parking fees and other charges are owed.

Taking out the advertisement is part of the process of legalising whatever debt recovery actions the airport chooses to take.

The aircraft may have little or no intrinsic value, since market prices of most B747-200s have now fallen to scrap level.

The final value of an aircraft is a combination of its engines plus any salvage value that can be derived from its rotable parts.

Models with values better than scrap, depending on accumulated flight hours, are usually the youngest -200Fs which were built in the late 1980s and early’90s, and which are powered by the JT9D-7R4G2 and CF6-50E2 units.

The age of the youngest -200F could be 18 years, while some models are up to 30 years old, placing the type into two distinct categories: those that have completed Section 41 modifications, but have also surpassed their D4 or D5 check (these are most likely to be retired when they reach their next costly D check); and a second group which has not completed Section 41 and faces the US$1.5 million cost of completing such modifications.

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