Caribbean Airlines (BW, Port of Spain) has confirmed it will resume flights to Paramaribo Int'l after having been given the go-ahead by the Surinamese government.

"The start date for Suriname will be confirmed early next week," an airline spokesperson confirmed to ch-aviation.

This followed a meeting to resolve outstanding issues between the airline, Suriname’s Ministry of Transport, Communication, and Tourism (TCT), and the Association of Surinamese Travel Agents (ASRA).

“Permission has indeed been granted, but in the meantime, a resolution must be worked on,” Suriname transport minister, Albert Jubithana, was quoted by Barbados-based Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

This followed an earlier ban on the resumption of Caribbean Airlines’ flights to the Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country concerning unresolved complaints from travel agents after the airline failed to repatriate passengers from Suriname during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Surinam Airways (PY, Paramaribo Int'l) and Fly All Ways Airlines (8W, Paramaribo Int'l) had repatriated passengers abandoned by Caribbean Airlines.

“The pandemic has affected all airlines, but I have put the interests of passengers first from the start,” Jubithana said, adding he had now given Caribbean Airlines permission on the condition that the airline resolved outstanding problems with local partners, including the ASRA.

“Facts must be distinguished from opinions. I have simply applied the principle of equality on all three airlines that have left passengers here. No one gets preferential treatment,” said Jubithana. He earlier said GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (G3, Sao Paulo Congonhas) and Copa Airlines (CM, Panamá City Tocumen Int'l) had also left passengers in the lurch when the pandemic broke out, but had, in the meantime, settled matters with travel agencies.

Last week, Trinidad and Tobago CARICOM and Foreign Affairs Minister Amery Browne and Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said relations between the two countries remain strong. Browne indicated the Caribbean Airline issue had been raised with his Surinamese counterpart, Albert Ramdin.

Caribbean Airlines was not immediately available for comment.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, the airline will resume thrice-weekly flights from Port of Spain to Paramaribo on April 1, 2022.