Sunday August 25, 2019
By Danielle Haynes
A man looks out over the runway from the main viewing room as South African Airlines jets prepare to take off from the main runway at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 12, 2016. File Photo by Kim Ludbrook/EPA
Aug. 24 (UPI) -- South African authorities seized an Airbus passenger jet operated by Air Tanzania, forcing the state-run airline to cancel a flight to Dar es Salaam.
Neither government has revealed why the Airbus 220-300 was impounded.
Tanzania officials said they were sending lawyers to investigate the seizure.
"We are working to ensure that the plane is released immediately," Leonard Chamuriho, secretary of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, told the Daily Nation in Kenya.
He said the plane was being held in response to an order by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
Air Tanzania alerted customers to the flight disruption in a Twitter post.
"Dear Customers, Due to unforeseeable circumstance, Air Tanzania profoundly regrets to inform you that we expect flight schedule adjustments. We sincerely apologize for all inconveniences this might cause to your travel plans," the company said.
Air Tanzania began flying to Johannesburg in June, though the airline encountered what Managing Director Ladislaus Matindi described as a "miscommunication" resulting in airline officials being turned away at Oliver Tambo International Airport when the inaugural flight arrived.