DAE forces SLM to provide ground handling services in Zanderij
WILLEMSTAD – Dutch Antilles Express (DAE) had to drag the Surair Ground Handling Services (SGHS) to the Court in Paramaribo to get services restored to its flights upon arrival at the international airport in Suriname. The president of Surinam Airways (SLM) refused to provide services to an aircraft of DAE even though the latter has made the demanded transactions to eliminate outstanding arrears.
Due to the fact that transfers made by DAE did not reached the account of SGHS the president of Surinam Airways, Mr. Henshuys, has decided that its daughter company SGHS should not continue to provide services to DAE. Even though DAE offered to pay on cash-basis for the ground-handling services, this has been refused. The consequence of such decision resulted in the returning of the DAE Fokker-100 to Curacao without passengers due to the fact that DAE could not check-in its passengers and handle their accompanying baggage.
The case presented by the DAE lawyer, Mr. Schurman, to the judge Ingrid Lachitjaran resulted in an immediate uplift of the postponement imposed by the president of SLM as long as the DAE pays upfront for the required services as earlier requested by DAE to avoid inconvenience to the DAE travelling passengers. Based on this, the DAE will resume its regular services to the Adolf Pengel Luchthaven in Paramaribo tomorrow.
Its noteworthy to mention that SLM is the owner of the only terminal of the only international airport in Suriname, the owner of the only ground handling service company at mentioned airport and is a direct competitor of the DAE to Curacao and Miami. Prior to the DAE operations to Suriname, the fares were between 200 to 300% higher; in the high season even more. Just before the start of the DAE operations to Suriname, SLM and Insel Air signed a code sharing agreement, which for years were non-existent.
It is the hope of DAE that Suriname and/or its Airport Authority will soon possess its own terminal to make possible services offer by more ground-handling companies on a competitive basis to avoid such monopolistic misuse of power.
The DAE will continue to provide its services to Suriname, based on fair competition with the sole objection to provide optimal service to its passengers. The DAE apologizes for any inconvenience the passengers have experienced last day(s). The same way the DAE took care of them during these day(s), the DAE will compensate these passengers too.