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Friday, April 18, 2014

Charter flights from 3 cities in China to start this month

The CNMI’s third signatory airline is expanding its route to China, with Dynamic Airways’ announcement that it will launch charter flights to Saipan from Tianjin, Wuhan, and Hangzhou later this month.

To this end, the Greensboro, North Carolina-based charter carrier will be stationing two Boeing 767-200 aircraft on Saipan to support the growth of the tourism industry on the island, with potential for more in the near future.

“In conjunction with our partners in China, CITS [China International Travel Service] and through our travel agency Century Tours, we are proud to build on the successes of the China market into Saipan and continue to grow the most important industry to our economy, tourism,” said Century Tours president Jerry Tan.

Century Tours, an internationally recognized travel and tour agency, has been working with Dynamic Airways for several months to bring the China charter flights to Saipan.

The two companies received word from the CAAC, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, earlier this week of the successful approval to secure charters to Saipan from Tianjin, Wuhan, and Hangzhou.

Gov. Eloy S. Inos congratulated Dynamic Airways and Century Tours for their latest foray into China.

“For several months now, the CNMI has been experiencing positive growth in our tourism industry and we intend to continue our efforts to promote our islands as a prime destination. I congratulate Dynamic Airways, Century Tours, and their partners for their efforts to begin charter services from three China cities. This is another big stride forward in our efforts to enhance our tourist industry and increase economic activity,” Inos said.

Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Perry Tenorio echoed Inos’ congratulations.

“We are excited to welcome these new chartered services from the three source cities in China to the Northern Marianas. These flights will augment the current scheduled and charter services being provided by other industry partners. The Marianas Visitors Authority looks forward to its collaboration with Century Tours and Dynamic Airways to continue the growth and contribution of Chinese visitors to the Northern Marianas’ travel industry and economy,” he said.

Alex Sablan, president of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, said that Dynamic Airways and Century Tours’ expansion into the China market only bodes well for the continued economic recovery of the CNMI.

“The Saipan Chamber of Commerce commends Century Tours, CITS, and Dynamic Airways for their effort to further grow the China market. Growth from all our source markets will enhance our economy, provide more jobs and infuse much needed new revenue into our economy,” said Sablan. “We commend the MVA, Gov. Eloy S. Inos’ administration and the 18th Legislature for their initiatives, support, and commitment to our only industry, tourism.”

The launch of charter flights to Tianjin, Wuhan, and Hangzhou comes on the heels of Dynamic Airways’ successful operation of charter services from Incheon, South Korea, since Oct. 23, 2013. The charters from Korea led to the stationing of one 767-200 aircraft on Saipan beginning October last year.

In addition to Dynamic Airways contributing to the increase in Korean arrivals in 2013, both Dynamic Airways and Century Tours believe these new China flights will “certainly complement the already rapid growth of Chinese arrivals into the beautiful and idyllic tropical destination of Saipan.”

Based on an MVA report on visitor arrivals, the total number of Chinese visitor to the CNMI from January to November 2013 already breached the 100,000 plateau and the 107,379 arrivals in the first 11 months of last year represents an amazing 39-percent increase from figures in 2012.

According to a Jan. 20, 2014, report from Radio Australia, China’s outbound tourism market is expected to increase to some 100 million in 2016.

Quoting John Kester of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the report added that aside from an expected increase in Chinese global travelers in two years’ time, their disposable income has also increased six-fold from below $100 in 2000 to as much $6,000 per head as of 2012.

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