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At Londons Gatwick Airport, a Boeing 737 200 was seized to satisfy outstanding debts.
Air Zimbabwe owed 750,000 pounds to a large multinational
company, and seizure of one of the companies aircraft was the next
logical step. Writs for Seizure were issued in England and Wales in an
attempt to gain payment. With an aircraft being the target of the
seizure, additional planning and preparation was required, which
- security of the aircraft whilst it was grounded
- an appropriate place to "park" the aircraft
- liaising with the Foreign Office to ensure there was no unpleasant Diplomatic incident
- the most appropriate way to sell an aircraft
It took 3 attempts to successfully seize an aircraft. On the first attempt the planned flight to Gatwick was cancelled as the aircraft that was scheduled to fly to Gatwick had been seized in South Africa. The second attempt failed when the aircraft diverted due to a lack of fuel. The third attempt was successful and made when all passengers and luggage were off the plane.
Log books and documentation required to fly the plane were removed. A short time later that day negotiations were entered into for payment of the debts. Full payment including costs were eventually paid, with Air Zimbabwe passengers returning home on their flight 2 weeks later than anticipated.