Cool: Surinam Airways Replacing A340 With 777

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Last July I wrote about Surinam Airways’ fascinating flight between Paramaribo and Amsterdam. The airline has a single A340-300 that they use for their long haul flights, as they fly several times a week between the two cities. The route makes sense, given the Dutch ties, and Surinam Airways isn’t even the only airline to operate the route.

Obviously there are challenges with having only one long haul aircraft. For example, when the plane needs maintenance they have to lease another plane, and in the past have even leased an Air Belgium A340.

Air Belgium A340

The Surinam Airways A340 is over 20 years old, and previously flew for China Southwest Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, and Air China. The airline has only been flying the A340 since 2015. Prior to that — from 2004 through 2010 — Surinam Airways had a Boeing 747-300 that they used for long flights.

Surinam Airways’ A340 business class

Anyway, it looks like the airline has devised a plan for refreshing their fleet… sort of.

It’s being reported that Surinam Airways has signed a lease agreement (including maintenance) with Boeing for a 777-200ER, which they’ll take delivery of in October 2019. The plan is for the airline to eventually purchase a Boeing 787, though more details haven’t yet been revealed about how that’s expected to happen.

Surinam Airways will take delivery of a Boeing 777 that flew for Singapore Airlines for most of its career, and which was also temporarily registered with Air New Zealand (the airline had an aircraft shortage due to 787s being grounded, and they registered the aircraft in their name so their own crews could operate the flights). The plane has the registration code 9V-SVL. This plane has been flying since 2002, so it’s not that much younger.

However, this plane will represent a huge improvement in terms of the passenger experience. This 777-200 features a total of 271 seats, including 26 business class seats and 245 economy seats.

Business class is in an extremely comfortable 1-2-1 layout, with flat beds. Meanwhile in economy, the cabin is in a comfortable 3-3-3 layout.

Singapore Airlines’ business class seat

Singapore Airlines’ economy class cabin

Now I’d assume Surinam Airways won’t be changing up the cabins in these planes (it seems silly for them to do so), though nothing has officially been stated one way or another).

Bottom line

This is an exciting development for Surinam Airways. While their A340 had an awesome livery, it wasn’t fuel efficient at all, and also seemed to have its fair share of maintenance problems.

The 777 should prove to be much more reliable, not to mention should deliver better economics and a better passenger experience. I also think the plane will look awesome in Surinam Airways’ livery.

The airline allegedly considering a 787 in the future is even more awesome.

I really need to try this airline at some point…

(Featured image courtesy of Jules Meulemans)

Comments
  1. The A340 and 777-200ER burn pretty much the same amount of fuel The A340 burns less than a liter per hour more.The thing that makes the A340 less cost effective is the fact that a 772 can carry between 1-2 more rows of passengers, making it more efficient.

  2. They’ve been wanting to fly twin jets for the transatlantic route for decades, but the problem is that they should have an ETOPS certification for that, and this airline has been a government owned organizational mess that would never meet the audit requirements for ETOPS. But it seems like they actually think they can make it happen it this time. Let’s wait and see!

  3. If only you hadn’t recently flown on KLM, it would have been an interesting route to compare between the 2 airlines. I mean, I guess you technically could still do it…

  4. I thought something looked odd here. In English, don’t we spell the name of the airline’s flagger with an ‘e’ at the end, as in Suriname? It even comes up this way in spellcheck.

    I didn’t realize that it’s spelled differently in Dutch. Interesting.

    But then so is calling people ‘Dutch’ when they live in Holland, I mean the Netherlands…

  5. This is one of the few occasions I genuinely prefer a Boeing model of various configurations over an Airbus.

    I do not like how low the curvature on the walls of the a340 starts, it is already coming inwards at the window level. I wish they had made that plane a bit taller and wider inside.

    The 777 is more boxy and roomy like a genuine wide body inside and although not a superjumbo it is the next best thing today.

  6. I flew the “new” 77 from Auckland to Honolulu on Air New Zealand in April 2019, as NZ still has 789’s out of service after a full 13 months!

    It has the SQ livery with the titles removed and the Business Class seats are huge but with ancient IFE and lumpy, worn out surfaces.

    That was still more comfortable than the shrunken version of the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Suite that Air NZ uses on its 789 fleet, but the IFE wouldn’t work and the airline ended up compensating all passengers.

    I hope that Suriname Airways understand what they are acquiring!

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