Third Air Tanzania Bombardier Q400NextGen confiscated in Canada over government debts


(Posted 25th August 2017)

Only this morning was the question asked once again why the third Air Tanzania Bombardier Q400NextGen, due for delivery back in June, was not delivered to Dar es Salaam as projected and why the Tanzanian government kept silent over the affair.
However, reports are now filtering in that it was a long standing and unpaid international debt by the government of Tanzania which prompted the creditor to seize the aircraft in Canada before it could take off for the ferry flight to Dar es Salaam, of course a shameful and embarrassing affair which the government did not want to come into the public domain.
The debt owed plus interest accrued accumulated since 2010 to some 38.7 million US Dollars, exceeding the cost of the seized aircraft and hence prompting frentic efforts by the Tanzanian government to seek a settlement with Stirling Civil Engineering.
Said a usually well informed source from Dar es Salaam: ‘Had Sterling let the aircraft leave instead of seizing it, do you seriously believe they would have gotten the government back to the negotiating table? We hear that they are ready to settle a substantial sum upfront and then go for instalments but they now know that if that money does not come, the CS 300’s or even the B787 will face the same fate. They should not blame the people they owned money to, but themselves!‘.
If or when the plane will be released now depends entirely on the goodwill of the creditors Sterling, who may or may not accept part payment and could insist on the full amount due to be settled before giving the plane back, not a certainty given the cold shoulder they received for seven years from the Tanzanian government whenever reminders to pay were sent.
Puzzle solved but as said in the morning dispatch, the absence of the third Q400 will prevent Air Tanzania from expanding their route network as progressively as they had announced.

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