Air Tanzania plans to suspend its services to SA amid xenophobic violence - but Acsa knows nothing about it

2019-09-06 10:57
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Air Tanzania operates between Joburg and Dar es Sa

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) says it has not been notified by Air Tanzania that it intends to suspend its services to South Africa.

Betty Maloka, Senior Manager Corporate Affairs at OR Tambo International Airport says, “OR Tambo International Airport has learnt through media reports of Air Tanzania’s intentions to suspend flights to Johannesburg. Neither OR Tambo International Airport nor its parent company, Airports Company South Africa have been notified of such intentions by the Airline." 

Reuters reports Tanzania's national carrier suspended its flights from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg on Thursday, citing "ongoing violence that was a risk to its passengers".   

Tanzania's Transport Minister Isack Kamwelwe is quoted as saying "There is ongoing violence in South Africa whereby the youth have taken laws in their hands. Due to that, we have decided not to transport passengers to the destination where their lives will be in jeopardy."

Parts of Gauteng have experienced a wave of protests, in which looting of both foreign and South African owned shops have taken place as protests called for an end to the presence of drug syndicates, reports News24. There have also been reports of counter attacks on South African owned businesses in other African countries in response to the violence. 

READ: Botswana issues advisory for travel to SA in face of xenophobic unrest

The recent xenophobic attacks have seen Botswana issue a travel advisory for its citizens considering travel to its southern neighbour - but no flight operations have been affected.  

Traveller24 has contacted Air Tanzania to clarify the situation and is awaiting a response.

An Air Tanzania jet was recently impounded over a R500-million compensation claim, reports Business Insider

A former Tanzanian farmer whose property was seized by its government in the 1980s, says he is "owed the equivalent of more than R500 million under long-settled international arbitration". The Air Tanzania Airbus A220-300 Wakefield had seized is worth some R1.4 billion and represents fifth of the total seated capacity the airline currently lists in its fleet of five planes.

The Air Tanzania aircraft was seized in August at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport after it landed on a flight from the Tanzanian economic capital Dar-es Salaam. 

READ: A Tanzania jet worth R1.4 billion and closely associated with its ruling party is locked down at OR Tambo – and a lawyer says it is going nowhere

News24 reports the Air Tanzania jet was released under court order on Wednesday, after representation by the Tanzanian government was made. 

Tanzanian Foreign Minister Palamagamba Kabudi says the cancellation is "a victory", and that the SA judiciary "is not competent to order such (a) seizure".

*Compiled by Selene Brophy

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