The ex-director of SLM Paul de Haan spoke to the Dutch media this weekend about his flight from Suriname. In an extensive interview he opened up about his period as top man at the Surinamese Luchtvaart Maatschappij.
47-year-old De Haan had plans to reorganize considerably. The SLM employs 600 people, which is relatively more than EasyJet or even KLM has. But it was not that easy at all because he had to deal with party politics, where people who had been accommodated by the party were not allowed to lose their jobs.
Even within the Supervisory Board (SB) he had to deal with party politics and opposition. Supervisory Board member Paul de Haan said that Ruben Ravenberg (ABOP) called him a criminal on the radio. And when he had to cut costs further due to rising fuel prices, the ‘advantages’ of the members of the Supervisory Board also disappeared.
In the interview, De Haan said that free flying was no longer an option for members of the Supervisory Board. Which was a blow for some who in cases fly business class to Amsterdam on Friday, put the flowers out there and fly back to Suriname on Sunday.
When Supervisory Board member Leo Brunswijk (ABOP) announced that the SLM had hired expensive external parties, death wishes were addressed to De Haan on social media. In parliament, some DNA members called on him to take his passport and imprison him.
De Haan admitted that he had hired the outsiders, but also said that this was necessary in a restructuring and is not uncommon. A researcher said that as for a country like Suriname, an hourly rate of 200 euros per hour is sky-high, but internationally it is frankly still very cheap.
Finally, De Haan felt so seriously threatened that he decided in the middle of the night to drive with his family to the border of French Guiana and continue to Cayenne, where they took the plane to Europe.