The Tanzanian government has said that South African authorities have impounded an Airbus 220-300 aircraft leased by Tanzania’s national flag carrier. According to a statement by Tanzania's transport ministry, the move came on the orders of the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
The plane was due to fly from the Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Friday. According to Reuters, the reason behind the impounding of the plane was not immediately clear.
In July, President of Tanzania John Magufuli came up with a personal plan to revive the national airline carrier Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL). The government of Tanzania believes that buying new planes could boost the tourism industry, which is the country's main source of hard currency. Currently, the company owns one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, two Airbus A220-300s, and three DHC Dash 8-400 planes.
The amount of money which Tanzania had been spending on new planes recently became a point of contention between the country's finance ministry and the World Bank. The latter issued a statement last month, saying that Tanzania's economy had grown by only 5.2% in 2018 - contradicting the finance minister who said that the figure was 7%. IMF officials also said that President Magufuli's policies could result in reduced competition in the country's private sector while establishing a state-owned monopoly.