Japanese low-cost carrier Skymark Airlines Inc. will launch six direct charter flights from Tokyo to Saipan on March 22, a development that the Marianas Visitors Authority described as “exciting” for the CNMI as it will be the start of the increase in tourist arrivals from Japan.
MVA managing director Christopher Concepcion disclosed yesterday that Skymark will also launch additional flights in April and May for Japanese Golden Week.
Concepcion said Skymark is expected to launch their regular scheduled flights in July.
“We’re very excited about the resumption of flights from Japan to Saipan,” he said.
The MVA managing director said they expect a slight increase in arrivals from Japan after these initial flights.
When daily flights launch in July, Concepcion said, they expect a significant increase in arrivals from Japan.
“It’s been a long, drawn out back-and-forth discussion with Skymark and we’re finally almost here. We’re very glad,” he said.
Last month, Skymark donated 3 million Japanese yen or about $30,000 to MVA for the CNMI’s recovery efforts from Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation.
The CNMI government and Skymark had signed a co-promotional agreement that would re-open direct flights between Japan and Saipan.
Skymark is Japan’s third largest carrier and the first low-cost carrier in Japan. It is also the only carrier that offers domestic flights based at Haneda International Airport in Ota, Tokyo.