Friday, February 22, 2013

■ TANZANIA: Air Tanzania allegedly tries to evade court ordered building evaluation over unpaid debts.

Air TanzaniaIn yet another case of a deadbeat Tanzanian airline not paying its bills, national carrier, Air Tanzania (TC), who was threatened with the auction of its headquarters, Air Tanzania House, after it failed to settle a debt of over USD700'000 (TZS1.1billion) owed to Leisure Tours & Holidays Limited for car rentals, has allegedly obstructed the court ordered evaluation of their building.

Air Tanzania House (benhumph)
Air Tanzania House (benhumph)
According to Tanzanian paper, The Daily News, an evaluation of the carrier's headquarters in Ohio Street, Dar es Salaam, was ordered by the judge presiding over the case.
"The decision follows an application by the Tourism Services Company, which won a civil case number 56, 2009 raised from commercial dispute between the company and ATCL. The company demands a total of USD716,259.25 (more than Sh1.1 billion) after ATCL failed to pay fees for leasing of cars that the tour company provided them."
Source [Daily News]

However, reports today (Friday) stated that the evaluation was not performed as it had been obstructed for two days:
Unfortunately, the valuers spent those two days at the ATCL offices and finally could not get access to carry out the said exercise. This situation has been an obstacle to us to accomplish the said report and submit the same on the required date,” reads part of their letter dated February 19, 2013.
Source [Daily News]

The deadline for the submission of the evaluation is Friday 22 February.

Air Tanzania Acting Managing Director, Captain Milton Lazaro, however, claimed "that no one had been denied access to the building to conduct the evaluation" and added that they (Air Tanzania) had reached an "understanding" with Leisure Tours & Holidays Ltd. and their lawyers to settle the debt, which he described as "not so big."

Under the terms of a USD100million recapitalization plan of Air Tanzania by the Oman-based Al Hayat Development and Investment Company proposed in early January, amongst the various upgrades the carrier is to see is the building of a new "more suitable" headquarters. However, no mention was ever made as to who would incur Air Tanzania's various outstanding debts.