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Surinam Airways to increase Guyana; NYC still on the table

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018
by bimjim
http://wp.caribbeannewsnow.com/2018/01/ ... ill-table/

Surinam Airways to increase Guyana airlift and NYC still on the table
Ray Chickrie Caribbean News Now contributor
January 29, 2018

PARAMARIBO, Suriname

In a press release this week, Surinam Airways (SLM) announced that it will retain its Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the Georgetown (GEO)/Miami (MIA) route until the spring of 2018 to accommodate upcoming celebrations and events in Guyana. The airline also disclosed that it plans to commence GEO/NYC service in 2018.

According to SLM’s general manager for North America, Henk Fitz-Jim, the 737-800 aircraft provides an additional 60 seats per flight. The airline is taking note of the expected growth and development of Guyana, since the discovery of significant oil and gas resources off its coast.

Fitz-Jim concluded that, due to upcoming events like the international oil and gas conference, the Mashramani celebrations and the Easter Holidays, the demand for travel to Guyana has increased.

"We have seen an increase in the demand for travel to Guyana during this period and will keep the 737-800 in operation so as to efficiently accommodate this demand," he said.

"We are also aware that with Carnival being held in Trinidad and Tobago in February the availability of seats on other air carriers that serve Guyana via Trinidad becomes somewhat of a challenge. So with 60 additional seats three times per week, Surinam Airways is well positioned to ensure the Guyana market is adequately served at this important period for the country," Fitz-Jim added.

Surinam Airways currently flies from Miami to Guyana non-stop on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, but the airline wants to bring this up to four flights per week once both 737-700s are incorporated into its fleet. The lease of the 737-800 is only temporary.

Fitz-Jim also said that as part of network planning for 2018, the airline is looking to offer flights from Guyana to New York City.

With two Boeing 797-700NGs, SLM will now have the type of aircraft to tap the lucrative GEO/NYC market. The airline already has landing rights to NYC (JFK) and Newark (EWR). This type of aircraft is newer and offers more comfort than the Boeing 737-500, which SLM will discontinue. Airlift from NYC to GEO is in great demand.

The general manager said that SLM has kept "fares competitive and affordable so that passengers that are connecting from other cities should not find the cost of travel a burden to their budgets." In addition, he said that SLM allows passengers one free checked baggage as well as a carry on hand luggage.

The airline’s in-flight service has been praised by passengers.

"Our in-flight service, offers a hot meal, an array of soft drinks, juices, coffee and tea and friendly and helpful flight attendants," the manager said.