GROUNDED Q400 RELEASED AND BEGINS JOURNEY TO TANZANIA
(Posted 14th December 2019)
Following a settlement of sorts, which details are kept under close wraps by the Tanzanian government, was the impounded brand new De Havilland DHC Dash8-400 – previously known as the Bombardier Q400 – released and according to information immediately left Canada on a ferry flight to an initial stop at Reykjavik / Iceland.
The aircraft then proceeded on over Europe enroute to Tanzania, where the new plane is expected to arrive later today in Mwanza, where it will receive an official welcome, already bearing the Tanzanian registration of 5H-TCF.
This is the 4th Q400 aircraft to join the fleet of Air Tanzania, though the owners are the Tanzania Government Flight Agency, a parastatal body. It was because of this ownership structure that in the past years three aircraft could be impounded – all of course since released – over suits against the Republic of Tanzania. The government had at the time, on legal advice, opted to change the ownership structure when the first orders for new aircraft were placed, to avoid precisely that, impound of aircraft owned by Air Tanzania directly over huge legacy debts which still await to be settled.
Air Tanzania Corporation Limited, in short ATCL, upon the arrival of the new aircraft, will operate a fleet of four DHC8-400’s, two Airbus A220-300 – with two more on order – and two Boeing B787-8 with an order for a third such aircraft reportedly being under consideration. The airline was also handed two government aircraft for operations but there is no indication that they have been operationalised. The two aircraft are a 1978 built Fokker 28 jet registered as 5H-CCM and a Fokker 50 turboprop registered as 5H-TGF.