Air Tanzania is a fascinating little airline. Up until about a year ago they had a single regional jet and four turboprops. However, in the past year they’ve taken delivery of one Boeing 787-8 and two Airbus A220-300s. With these planes they’ve launched flights to Johannesburg and Mumbai, in June and July of 2019, respectively.
Well, it looks like the airline might be having some issues. Air Tanzania has posted the following on Twitter:
Due to unforeseeable circumstance, Air Tanzania profoundly regrets to inform you that we expect flight schedule adjustments. We sincerely apologize for all inconveniences this might cause to your travel plans.
Wapendwa Wateja Wetu, kutokana na sababu zilizopo nje ya uwezo wetu, Air Tanzania inasikitika kuwataarifu kuwa kutakuwa na mbadiliko ya ratiba za ndege. Tuna waomba radhi kwa usumbufu utakaojitokeza kwenye ratiba/mipango ya safari zenu. pic.twitter.com/RXo9gceNRI
— Air Tanzania (@AirTanzania) August 24, 2019
Doing some further digging, it appears that through September 2, 2019, Air Tanzania has removed all inventory from their Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg flight. So, what’s going on?
Air Tanzania’s A220 was allegedly impounded at Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport yesterday. The plane with the registration code 5H-TCH operated the flight to Johannesburg (TC208), but didn’t operate the return flight (TC209).
It’s being reported that the aircraft has been impounded over an unpaid loan of about 4.1 million USD by Air Tanzania to South African Airways. Apparently this dates back to the time when Air Tanzania had entered into a partnership with South African Airways.
It’s not entirely clear why this is happening now and didn’t happen before this. I guess they needed a court order, and maybe that took a while to get.
I don’t have the full background on what’s going on here, especially as media in Tanzania is silent about this situation.
So it’ll be interesting to see if/when this gets resolved. The easiest way to track that is to just keep an eye on the flight tracker for this plane.
In the meantime, if you’re scheduled to fly an Air Tanzania A220, expect that your flight may not operate as expected (though they do have another A220). Even though they have another A220, I imagine they wouldn’t dare fly it to Johannesburg, out of fear of it being impounded as well.