Air Tanzania aircraft reclaims skies after controversial Dutch seizure.

An Air Tanzania Airbus A220, which was previously seized by Dutch authorities, has been returned to the airline, according to a recent announcement from the Tanzanian government. The ill-fated aircraft found itself under lock and key as a direct result of a hefty $165 million legal verdict favoring a Swedish firm against Tanzania, rooted in the contentious Bagamoyo sugar project land title revocation.
Contrary to the simmering apprehensions of a Dutch Court sanctioning the attachment of the ATCL aircraft, the Tanzanian Attorney General, Dr. Eliezer Feleshi, issued assurances in December of the previous year that the situation was firmly under control.

Gerson Msigwa, the chief government spokesperson, provided an update on July 8, ahead of an international anti-corruption meeting in Arusha, that the aircraft, an Airbus 220, was released and made its way back to Tanzanian territory on Thursday, July 6.

"It's heartening to share that one of our planes, previously seized amid a lingering case at the Dutch Court, has now made its way back home, following successful deliberations between the involved parties," he explained.

Msigwa pointed out that preparations are currently underway to get the Airbus 220 back in the air, bound for various destinations, a development he considers to be a positive milestone for ATCL.

Furthermore, he divulged that a recently acquired cargo plane has already initiated flights to Dubai and the US, with three additional planes anticipated to join the fleet by the year's end.

Despite past turbulence, Msigwa asserted the government's ongoing commitment to fortifying ATCL's operations. "The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) reports are testament to our progress, as we're resolute in elevating ATCL further," he stressed.

EcoDevelopment, a Swedish entity owned by 18 nationals, instigated its ICSID claim back in 2017 under the Sweden-Tanzania bilateral investment treaty. They successfully convinced the court to hold onto the Tanzanian plane, even though the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had signaled a stay of execution, pending annulment proceedings.

Yet, the judge underscored that the ICSID’s interim stay of execution only became effective on the date the institution recognized the state’s annulment appeal. EcoDevelopment engaged the legal firm Houthoff for the Dutch court proceedings and Mannheimer Swartling for the ICSID proceedings, while Tanzania sought the services of Buren Legal for the attachment proceedings.