New director plans to turnaround Surinam Airways

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New director plans to turnaround Surinam Airways

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Jul 09, 2016

http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headlin ... 31018.html

New director plans to turnaround Surinam Airways; government wants joint venture or merger
Ray Chickrie Caribbean News Now contributor
July 9, 2016

PARAMARIBO, Suriname

Surinam Airways (SLM) will again make a profit, according to its new director Robbi Lachmising, who brought SLM out of the red from 2000 to 2004. This period is seen as one of the best financial times in the airline’s history.

In the past decade since Lachmising left SLM, the airline has been hemorrhaging financially. However, he sees no reason why he can’t turn the airline around. "When I took over in 2000, we achieved a modest profit within a quarter, a $150,000 profit. In next three years it was a total of eight to nine million," Lachmising said. Lachmising has a one year contract with the government.

The government wants SLM to be financially sound, said minister of transportation, communication and tourism, Andy Rusland. However, the company has been losing a lot of money on the mid-Atlantic route because of frequent delays and cancellations. As a result, SLM has had to compensate European passengers generously. European Union regulations are very favourable to passengers, unlike in North America.

There has been much talk about buying a second aircraft to ply the mid-Atlantic route between Paramaribo and Amsterdam. But, this week in Paramaribo, Rusland put an end to that rumour. He said this will not happen; that it is not “financially feasible”.

The ministry of transportation and the foreign ministry of Suriname are both working with SLM in forging a “merger or a joint venture with another airline”. SLM and the government of Suriname are in talks with two European airlines, along the lines that Rusland suggested.

A deal with another airline to relieve SLM’s sole Airbus 340 on the mid-Atlantic route would allow the airline to focus on a regional expansion plan. SLM is seeking to expand its network to Haiti, NYC and Northern Brazil.

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