Africa: Air Tanzania aircraft impounded in Johannesburg
Frantic efforts are underway from the side of the Tanzanian government to obtain a release of one of Air Tanzania’s Airbus A220′ aircraft, which was impounded in Johannesburg and not allowed to take off for the flight back to Dar es Salaam.
Informed sources have suggested that an unpaid loan by Air Tanzania to South African Airways – equally broke if not worse – to the tune of over 4.1 million US Dollars, dating back to the time when Air Tanzania had entered into a partnership with SAA.
The development comes hot on the heels of the SADC Summit held in Dar es Salaam and a state visit by South African President Ramaphosa but did not stop a South African court to issue an order against Air Tanzania and have the aircraft impounded.
While the aircraft itself, for exactly those reasons of old never paid up debts, is registered to a Tanzanian government parastatal, from which Air Tanzania is leasing all the new aircraft purchased by government, can however the fuel put into the aircraft be taken by the claimants, as fuel is entirely related to Air Tanzania Corporation Limited, a process which can be continued ad infinitum until the debt is settled.
It also means that the aircraft, unless the order of the High Court is overturned, could be held in Johannesburg for the forseable future.
The development comes at a critical time for Air Tanzania as the airline only very recently launched their flights to Johannesburg again, now leaving passengers stranded and struggling to either get home or to their destination.
As usual in Tanzania has none of the state controlled nor private media dared so far to report on the matter, clearly fearing the implications for their staff and business.