Suriname Airways to begin non-stop flights to US

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Suriname Airways to begin non-stop flights to US

Unread post by bimjim » Sat May 14, 2016

http://antiguaobserver.com/suriname-air ... hts-to-us/

Suriname Airways to begin non-stop flights to US
May 14, 2016

PARAMARIBO, Suriname, CMC

Suriname’s national airline, SLM, says it has been granted rights for direct flights to the United States. Tourism, Communications and Transport Minister Andy Rusland said that US authorities also gave the nod to operations and security arrangements at the Johan Adolf Pengel (JAP) International Airport. “Hard work has paid off,” Rusland said.

SLM was barred from making non-stop flights to the US eight years ago. The airline has since conducted its US service with stop overs in other countries including Guyana, Trinidad and Aruba. In 2014 Suriname and the US signed an open sky agreement, which opened the possibility for a resumption of a direct air link.

“In order to establish non-stop flights, aviation security standards set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) must be met. Once the Government of Suriname has implemented the required ICAO Security Standards, the government may request a team of United States of America Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Inspectors to conduct an airport assessment to ensure that all ICAO Security Standards are implemented accordingly,” Rusland said.

Rusland said the demands from TSA were strict, but they were met. He told reporters that local stakeholders “worked behind the scene to make this possible” and that the aid direct flights would bring positive developments to the tourism sector. “We will use this development to boost our US tourist visitor numbers. This opens so many new opportunities for Suriname to benefit from its tourism industry,” he said.

The first direct flight will likely be carried out in September. SLM general manager Louis Voigt said the details are still being worked out. “The challenges are huge, but I am proud to have been part of the negotiations that took us here. I am proud to be able to experience this moment,” said Voigt.

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