We’ve all left something behind at some point. I’ve accidentally left some clothes in hotels (and even on planes). I may have even left some gum on the bottom of some restaurant tables (accidentally, of course).
But could you imagine leaving a 747 behind? How about two of them? Or even three of them?
That’s exactly what has apparently happened at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is now trying to find the owners of three 747s, which have been parked there for more than a year.
Airport officials, eager to clear the massive clutter, took out ads in Malaysia’s The Star and Sin Chew Daily newspapers asking for the owner to please come get your planes.
“If you fail to collect the aircraft within 14 days of the date of this notice, we reserve the right to sell or otherwise dispose of the aircraft,” the ad states.
Malaysia Airports general manager Zainol Mohd Isa told CNN the aircraft have been parked at KLIA for more than a year, having been abandoned at different times.
It’s not clear who now bears responsibility for the aircraft and any related charges.
“They’ve yet to pay the parking fee — where do we send the bill?” Isa said.
This story is perhaps most interesting because I figured it was easier to track down who owns planes. Here’s the notice Malaysia Airports just posted on their website, explaining the attempts they’ve made to find the owner:
The advertisements dated 7 December 2015 in The Star and Sin Chew Daily serve as notice to the owner of the aircraft that the aircraft may be sold to recover the charges owed by the owner to Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1996.
The giving of such notice by way of advertisement is a common and reasonable step in the process of debt recovery especially in cases where the company concerned has ceased operations and is a foreign entity whereby exhaustive steps undertaken to find a contact person have not been successful.
This step is also a common process undertaken by airport operators all over the world when faced with such a situation.
As someone who knows nothing about freighters or leasing companies, I’m curious what the motivation here is?
- If the owner didn’t want the planes anymore, presumably they could have them scrapped and the parts would at least be worth something? Or are 747-200F parts not worth anything anymore?
- If they were planning on picking up the planes again at some point, how do they see that going down when they show up at the airport? I imagine the “parking” fee situation would be similar to one I encountered recently.
The whole situation sort of reminds me of the joke of the multi-millionaire who took out a $5,000 loan and used his Ferrari as collateral.
Anyone have a theory as to what’s going on here?
(Tip of the hat to Mike)