Suriname has given the green light for the Trinidad-based state-owned Caribbean Airlines to begin operations. The decision come following a meeting between top officials from the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Tourism (TCT), the Association of Surinamese Travel Agents (ASRA), and CAL.
“Permission has been given, but a resolution must be worked on in the meanwhile,” stated Transport Minister Albert Jubithana.
Government had earlier denied Caribbean Airlines’ request to resume flights to the Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country last week, citing its dissatisfaction with the airline’s treatment of its residents.
“I will not give Caribbean Airlines permission to restart operations until it resolves its difficulties with its passengers and travel agencies.Suriname is a country where regulations are followed and order reigns supreme,” Jubithana said at the time.
According to Suriname, the airline, unlike others, did not look after its customers who were stuck here when the airspace was banned regular commercial flights in March 2020 as part of the coronavirus’s spread control measures (COVID-19).
According to local media sources, several international airlines have resumed operations when Suriname reopened its airspace and normal flights resumed, with the exception of Caribbean Airlines.
“The epidemic has affected all airlines,” Jubithana said, adding that he has now granted Caribbean Airlines authorization on the condition that it overcomes outstanding issues with local partners, including ASRA.
“Opinions must be distinguished from facts.” On all three airlines that have left passengers here, I have simply applied the concept of equality. “No one gets special treatment,” Jubithana remarked.
Dr. Amery Browne, the CARICOM and Foreign Affairs Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, and Paula Gopee-Scoon, the Trade and Industry Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, both stated this week that relations between the two CARICOM countries are solid and that there is no reason to believe otherwise.
The CAL problem had been brought up by Browne with his Suriname colleague, Albert Ramdin.