Paging owners of abandoned jets: Malaysia wants them out

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Attention owners of three jumbo jets parked at Malaysia's main airport: please remove your aircraft immediately or the airport will.

Malaysia's airport operator took the unusual step of posting photos in two major newspapers of the three Boeing 747-200s that have been sitting idle for more than a year. The notice this week warns the owners that the airport has the right to sell or dispose of the planes unless they are collected within 14 days.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport General Manager Zainol Mohamad Isa said Wednesday such notice is normal in a bid to recover debts owed to Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, after exhaustive but futile efforts to locate the owners. They are believed to be foreign entities that could have ceased operations.

The planes carry registration prefixes TF for Iceland. An Iceland-based air charter and cargo company, Air Atlanta Icelandic, was quoted by The Star newspaper as saying it operated the planes until 2010.

"We placed out the advertisements because we want to remove ambiguity over ownership of the planes," Zainol said. "We want the owners to step forward and we want the planes to be out of our airport bay."

He said that such cases are not uncommon and happen in airports around the world.

If the planes are unclaimed, Malaysia Airports will likely sell the jets to recover debts for landing and parking fees, Zainol said, but declined to say how much money is being owed.

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