A B737-700 belonging to Surinam Airways (PY, Paramaribo Int'l) has been seized at Miami Int'l, shortly before a scheduled return flight to Paramaribo Int'l via Georgetown Cheddi Jagan, Guyana, on the afternoon of April 13, the newspaper De West reported.

According to reports, the debt-riddled airline is about one year behind in its payments to the lessor of the aircraft, which allegedly ordered the seizure.

B737-700 PZ-TCT (msn 29356) remained in Miami on April 14, Flightradar24 ADS-B data showed, while the carrier’s only other aircraft, B737-700 PZ-TCS (msn 34538), had also not returned from Miami since it flew there on February 28. However, the airline has since revealed that PZ-TCT returned to Suriname on the evening of April 14.

Sources told the newspaper that the aircraft had been towed away from the airport terminal at 1600L on April 13, half an hour before the scheduled take-off time on that day, before which Surinam Airways had removed all suitcases from the hold. The passengers were reportedly still in the departure hall well into the evening, still awaiting word on how they could depart.

The carrier and the Surinamese government said on April 13 that they were working hard to ensure a speedy solution to the seized aircraft's problem and would transport the stranded passengers to Paramaribo as soon as they could. Finance Minister Armand Achaibersing confirmed the aircraft seizure to the National Assembly of Suriname and claimed that the national carrier had reached an agreement with the lessor, US-based Aircastle, and that USD650,000 would be paid to release the property.

In a statement released on the evening of April 13, the airline claimed that “negotiations” with the lessor had already been underway but that “the landlord of B737 PZ-TCT decided, for administrative reasons, to temporarily ground the aircraft in Miami.”

Last month, the government vowed that it would restructure Surinam Airways, though under state ownership rather than through privatisation. At the end of 2020, Surinam Airways had a USD102 million debt pile and has incurred further losses since the beginning of 2021.

Editorial Comment: Added that PZ-TCT had now returned to Suriname. - 15.04.2021 - 11:53 UTC