Aldan-Pierce: Skymark flights signal re-emergence of Japan market


Marianas Visitors Authority board chair Marian Aldan-Pierce sees Skymark Airlines Inc.’s Nov. 29 launch of its non-stop daily regular scheduled flights from Tokyo-Narita to Saipan as the re-emergence of the Japanese market in the CNMI.

Aldan-Pierce said in an interview Friday that regular flights from Japan to Saipan is something that MVA and the government have been working on for over a year.

“We’re very excited about Skymark’s entry into the CNMI,” Aldan-Pierce said.

She said everybody—from the Saipan community to their Japanese friends—is excited about the daily flights and they are looking forward to this favorable development.

She said the CNMI has a historic positive relationship with Japan that goes back several years, since the Commonwealth’s tourism market was actually built on the entry of Japanese tourists.

“They started this back in the ’70s and it will be great to have them back,” Aldan-Pierce said.

She believes people should be scrambling for Skymark’s special offer called “Saipan Special” that started last Friday. This affordable fare option is already available on Japan domestic flights and is being made available to its first-ever regular international service.

Skymark introduced the “Saipan Special” to mark the launch of the new route between Tokyo (Narita) and Saipan. Sale of tickets started Friday until Dec. 31, 2019.

Under the “Saipan Special” promotion, from Nov. 29, 2019, to March 28, 2020, Skymark’s special offer for one-way fare per passenger is $38 or 3,800 in Japanese yen.

Taxes and fuel surcharge, however, will be imposed on international flights.

From March to September this year, Skymark operated 19 charter flights to Saipan, with its first historic touchdown on Saipan occurring last March 22. Skymark came with a chartered B737-800 plane carrying 173 passengers, making it the first Japanese carrier to fly directly to Saipan since Japan Airlines withdrew from the CNMI in 2005.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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