Tanzania ‘threatens to scrap Canada plane order’

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Tanzania’s foreign minister  has warned that the country could cancel its aircraft purchase order from Canadian company Bombardier after a new plane for the national carrier was seized over a $33m, £28.8m debt owed to a retired South African farmer, report says

“Canada should also know that it is not the only plane manufacturer in the world,” Pamagamba Kabudi is quoted as saying.

The seizure relates to a case dating back to the 1980s. Hermanus Steyn has for years sought compensation after the Tanzanian government nationalised his private farm, report said.

In September, a South African court ordered the release of another Air Tanzania aircraft after it was seized.

“The same person who went to court in South Africa, and caused the impounding of the Airbus in August, went to a Canadian court,” Mr Kabudi said.

He said that he had summoned Canada’s top diplomat in Dar es Salaam to protest against the seizure.

Air Tanzania is currently undergoing a revival plan after its grounding in 2011. The state-owned company currently operates eight planes, including two Boeing 787 Dreamliners and two Airbus 220-300 planes.

The seized plane was expected to be delivered on Thursday, report said.

 

Dominica Nwabufo