Propst: Cape Air failed the people of the CNMI

A lawmaker plans to call a public meeting to solicit testimonials over the continued flight delays of Cape Air on its Guam, Saipan, and Rota routes.

Cape Air delayed flights again this week, citing “maintenance issues.”

“Enough is enough. Cape Air has continually failed the people of the CNMI. We need to stop directing our frustrations to Cape Air. They don’t care,” Rep. Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan) said.

The lawmaker said he will “be calling for a public hearing to collect testimonials for United Airlines and will ask United representatives to attend.”

“And if no representative from United attends, then it will prove that United really does not care about the CNMI,” he said.

“This has become more than an inconvenience. This is hurting businesses, hurting our tourism industry, and putting our health and safety in jeopardy. We will gather these testimonials and will forward it to United as well as our U.S. Congressman Kilili Sablan.”

Propst said that Cape Air’s “broken planes and horrible service have got to go and we need to find another carrier to take over this route.”

Rep. Vinson Sablan (Ind-Saipan) shared that due to the delay, one of his staff is stuck in Guam.

“One of my staff is still there, as there are no available flights,” Sablan said. “They don’t seem to care probably because there is no competition, and there’s no other airline available to serve passengers.”

Cancellations of flights by Cape Air have drawn the ire of CNMI lawmakers who are now demanding that the airline operator give a more detailed explanation for the cancellations.

Sen. Teresita A. Santos (R-Rota) earlier said her office has received many complaints on the cancellations and “poor customer” service by Cape Air crew in Guam.

The lawmaker said these cancellations and poor service “might be an opportunity for the CNMI to explore engaging the services of other airlines.”

Rep. Joseph “Lee Pan” Guerrero (R-Saipan) said the executives of the airline should come to the CNMI and “face the music” instead of just issuing press releases.

“They are not being fair,” the lawmaker said, adding that he does not see the logic why ticket prices continue to rise every time an airplane breaks down.

Cape Air flight cancellations have continued from last weekend, after flights were canceled last Friday, reportedly due to a technical issue with their aircraft.

United Airlines provided an extra flight on a Boeing 737-800 to accommodate passengers. Cape Air and United are code-share partners.

Joel D. Pinaroc | Reporter
Joel Pinaroc worked for a number of newspapers in the Philippines before joining the editorial team of Saipan Tribune. His published articles include stories on information technology, travel and lifestyle, and motoring, among others. Contact him at joel_pinaroc@saipantribune.com.

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