The CNMI’s tourism industry is slowly getting back to its feet, with five more airline companies set to resume international flights to the Commonwealth starting today, Tuesday, to Thursday.
Marianas Visitors Authority marketing manager Thomas Kim said yesterday that scheduled to resume flights to Saipan this week are Sichuan Airlines, Jeju Air, China Eastern, Beijing Capital Airlines, and Hong Kong Airlines.
Kim said Sichuan Airlines is expected to arrive today, Tuesday, at 3:10am, from Guangzhou, China.
Jeju Air will also arrive today, Tuesday, at 3:10pm, from Incheon, Seoul, South Korea.
Kim said China Eastern Airlines will resume flights Wednesday at 12:30am from Beijing, China.
Beijing Capital Airlines will arrive Thursday at 3:30pm from Hangzhou, China.
Hong Kong Airlines will resume flights Thursday at 12:30am from Hong Kong.
Sichuan Airlines will also arrive Thursday at 4:10am from Shanghai, China.
Kim said they will greet and give shell leis to the passengers from all these flights at the airport.
MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion said MVA and their offshore representative offices have been in discussion with all airlines servicing the CNMI to have them resume services as soon as possible.
Given the airport’s inability to accept night flights until just last Nov. 20, Concepcion said they have been waiting patiently and pushing aggressively to have airlines resume flights to the CNMI as airlines are essentially the lifeblood of the tourism industry.
“Without airlines we have no tourists,” he said.
Concepcion noted that they had some uncertainty in the beginning but they are very pleased to see the airlines resume flights to the CNMI.
“It goes to show that the CNMI remains a valuable destination for airlines in our region,” he said.
Concepcion said MVA has offered full support to all airlines operating international flights to Saipan in terms of aggressive marketing of the CNMI to help boost load factors and yield.
Hong Kong Express was the first commercial airline to resume international flights to the CNMI after Super Typhoon Yutu’s destruction last Oct. 24 and 25, which shut down the Saipan airport. The airline company arrived last Friday with full load of 180 passengers.
Four MVA marketing staff greeted and gave shell leis to the first batch of tourists at the airport.
Super Typhoon Yutu slammed into Saipan and Tinian on Oct. 24 and 25