Missing A 747? You Have 14 Days To Claim It!

Filed Under: Malaysia

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.


Via CNN:

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?

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)

  1. Not uncommon. There are at least two dozen abandoned commercial aircraft sitting at my local airport ranging from DC-9s up to an ex-Qantas 747-300 registered in Burkina Faso.

  2. I can’t be trusted with more than 3 ounces of liquid at an airport, but people can just abandon entire 747s there for years without anyone knowing who they belong to? Wow. KLIA makes the TSA look like competent!

  3. The other day I was taking a stroll through the park and I think one or two 747s might have fell out of my pocket.

  4. Through my ownership of a few shares of a airplane leasing company, I see that is a major expense averaging around a half million dollars to recover a plane from a debtor so if the planes are outdated and not worth more than that on the market or for parts, perhaps abandoning and leaving it to the airport to auction off and dispose of that way makes economic sense on some situations. And in theory they can still recover from the debtor if the debtor has any assets. I too, however, am surprised there is not some sort of international registry where looking up the owner of a plane isn’t too difficult for an airport to do.

  5. “I … am surprised there is not some sort of international registry where looking up the owner of a plane isn’t too difficult for an airport to do.”
    Might be of no value when the owner is a company which is either bankrupt or doesn’t even exist anymore.

  6. A little research shows that two of them started their lifes as Lufthansa Jumbos and one as Singapore Airlines Jumbo in 1980. The tail numbers were last registered by Air Atlanta Icelandic. They claim that they stopped operating those planes several years ago and supposedly the plane changed owners several times after that. The registration was also deleted from the Icelandic registry. What’s interesting is that someone seems to have flown the planes without a current registration as the planes still carry the obviously non-current tail numbers. Oops.

  7. @UnLuCkY – You are a feckless idiot. This doesn’t even remotely relate to MH. Please take your ignorant comments on a hike.

  8. I actually was looking at a previous review while already reading this article and you actually saw these exact plane over 2 years ago! Flying Bali-KUL with your mother.

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