The Commonwealth Ports Authority is excited for Marianas Southern Airways to begin flying starting this month.
According to CPA board chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds, CPA is excited for MSA to begin its interisland flight service, which is tentatively supposed to begin on Aug. 12.
“We’re really excited about the new entry to the market, about an additional carrier that’s going to be able to provide interisland flight service to the people of the Northern Marianas linking up all the three islands and also to Guam. It’s exciting times,” she said.
King-Hinds added that MSA’s decision to launch its flights at such low, promotional rates at this time of the year is great as CNMI families now have the opportunity to fly either to Guam or Saipan to do some back-to-school shopping.
“It’s always good to have options and the fact that they are offering promotional fares for a few months. That’s a very welcome added bonus for the people especially at a time where folks are thinking about going back to school shopping, we also have the holidays coming up, and so, obviously shopping is on the mind for many people and it’s exciting,” King-Hinds said.
During last week’s board meeting, the board unanimously granted MSA’s application to lease CPA property to build their own hangar where they will store their new airplanes.
In statement from CPA chair King-Hinds, she said the approval was significant for both CPA and MSA as it ultimately is an investment for the people of the Marianas.
“Because we do have typhoon seasons out here, you want to keep your planes out of the elements and properly secure them so that’s an investment that they want to make as part of this service that they’re providing to the people of the Marianas, which we are so incredibly excited about. It’s not a significant amount of money but obviously, it’s more about the type of investment that Marianas Southern Air is making in the CNMI,” she said.
The CPA chair added that the money from the lease agreement will count as non-aviation revenue, which CPA needs.
“This would be non-aviation revenue, which is badly needed at this time, given the fact that we just don’t have the arrivals that we were anticipating with the opening of our borders. This is one way of basically diversifying our means to be able to be self-sustainable. We have the aviation side, which we count on, and those are the landing fees, deplanement fees, etc., and then we have the non-aviation side, which is our leases and our rentals so this would go toward that,” she said.
MSA is the CNMI’s newest airline that promises to provide air-service with the ultimate goal of reconnecting the Marianas.