Air Tanzania A220 Impounded In Johannesburg

Filed Under: Other Airlines

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:

Dear Customers,
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.

Vague much?

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.

  1. SAA has been way too close to bankruptcy for ages now, so of course they need every penny they can get. Hopefully this will be resolved soon

  2. A loan BY Air Tanzania TO South African ? Or perhaps the other way round, seems more likely, as the cause for impounding Air Tanzania’s aircraft ?

  3. Despite the close Government relations, you mean this couldn’t have been resolved behind close doors? It’s almost as if SA couldn’t wait to have Air Tanzania start operating to have the plane impounded. Meanwhile SAA is enjoying the freedom of flying into DAR twice daily. Very Sad!

  4. @RAY
    For clarity, SAA didn’t impound the plane and will not be rewarded in any form. The plane was impounded presumably by the airport authorities in accordance with law and requested from the courts.

  5. @Russell
    No it couldn’t be resolved as this has been tried many times and the TZ governement decided to stop payments in 2014. The incompetent TZ government chose to ignore requests and international law resulting in an aircraft being impounded and quite rightly so.

  6. You need to understand a court order has to be honored, issue of relationship does not pave room for government authorities to disregard lawful order .

  7. Wow I wish we could read that article in English.

    A landowner had his land seized by the Tanzanian government in the 1980’s, went to South Africa, sued Tanzania there, and as compensation the South African court ruled the guy could impound one of their planes now! That’s gotta be a story for the ages!

  8. Better get the story right! It is an issue with one Boer farmer who had his property nationalized in Tanzania. Anyway, the SA Court resolved the issue in Tanzania favour and the plane flew back to Tanzania about two days ago.

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