South Africa impounds Air Tanzania’s plane

Air Tanzania aircraft. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP A plane owned by Tanzania’s state-run airline was seized in Johannesburg by South African authorities, a senior government official said.

Mr Leonard Chamuriho, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, said in a statement that the plane belonging to Air Tanzania Company Limited was seized Friday following an order by the Gauteng High Court of South Africa.

"We are working to ensure that the plane is released immediately," said Mr Chamuriho.

Air Tanzania was Friday forced to cancel its flight from Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam.

The managing director of Air Tanzania Ladislaus Matindi said the State carrier had made arrangements with other airlines to carry the affected passengers.

This is not the first time that Air Tanzania has faced trouble in South Africa.

Last month, a delegation from the national carrier was turned away at the Oliver Tambo International Airport during its inaugural flight to Johannesburg.

Mr Matindi blamed "miscommunication" between the airport and immigration officials for the hitch that saw him, and his deputy minister Elias Kwandikwa, other ATCL officials and journalists denied entry into the airport for a welcome ceremony.

The state-owned airline launched its maiden flight to South Africa’s business capital Johannesburg in June, in a move aimed at bolstering relations between the two countries.

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