PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, AFP) - Both Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Air Atlanta Icelandic have denied that they own the three aircraft left unclaimed at the KL International Airport (KLIA).
The MAS has dispelled talk that it owns the aircraft, which were featured in newspaper advertisements on Monday (Dec 7).
"If they were ours, we would have claimed them," said a MAS official.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) published newspaper advertisements on Dec 7 to serve notice to the owners of three aircraft, saying that the planes might be sold or disposed of if not collected within 14 days.
Aviation enthusiasts linked two of the three aircraft to MAS after a search on Airfleets.net found that MASKargo had leased two of the planes from Air Atlanta Icelandic.
They claimed the third plane was from Air Atlanta Icelandic, which specialises in leasing aircraft to airlines around the world.
Air Atlanta Icelandic senior vice-president Baldvin M. Hermannsson said in an e-mail that the aircraft bearing the registration mark TF-ARM, TF-ARN and TF-ARH, which are currently parked in Malaysia, were operated by the company until 2010 when they were returned to its owner.
"Air Atlanta Icelandic does not have any knowledge of who the current owner of these aircraft is and has nothing to do with these aircraft today," he said.
He added that the three aircraft had been deregistered from the Registry of Icelandic Civil Aviation Authority in June 2011 and January 2012.
MAHB said funds raised in the sale would be used to offset any expenses and debts owed by the owner to Malaysia Airports.
"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," said MAHB in a statement Tuesday (Dec 8).
It said "exhaustive steps" had been taken to find a contact person but its efforts had not been successful.
"This step is also a common process undertaken by airport operators all over the world when faced with such a situation," it added.