Johannesburg, South Africa - On August 23, the South African authorities seized an Airbus A220 from Air Tanzania at Johannesburg International Airport.
The Air Tanzania A220-300 registered 5H-TCH was confiscated after a scheduled passenger flight from Dar-es-Salaam to Johannesburg.
The passengers on the return flight suffered a considerable delay and eventually flew to Dar-es-Salaam with another aircraft.
In the 1980s, a large piece of land was expropriated from a South African farmer in Tanzania. But the Tanzanian government did not fully compensated the farmer for this operation.
Including the interest, the amount of compensation has risen to 33 million dollars since then.
Because the A220 (and the entire airline) belongs to the Tanzanian government, Air Tanzania will not get its aircraft back until the farmer is fully compensated or an adequate initial payment has been made.
For Air Tanzania, the seizure means a major loss. The company has only two Airbus A220-300 in its fleet, in addition to one Boeing 787-8 jet and a few turboprops.
The A220-300 joined the African carrier's fleet at the beginning of this year.