King-Hinds says CPA, Torres working to raise concerns due to expected adverse impact on CNMI economy
The Commonwealth Ports Authority has received the U.S. Department of Transportation’s notification and order that disapproves the resumption of flights by Chinese airlines into and out of the CNMI, according to CPA board chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds yesterday.
DOT ordered on Wednesday the suspension of all flights by Chinese airlines into and out of the U.S. after Beijing failed to allow American carriers to resume services to China.
When asked for comments about DOT’s move, King-Hinds said the DOT suspension order includes Beijing Capital Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines. She said these three airlines serve as the CNMI’s direct airbridges to the China tourist market.
“This action by DOT will have a particularized impact to CPA, given the significant amount of revenues that these routes represent in our operating budget,” she said.
King-Hinds said CPA is currently working with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to “parse” the language in the notification and raise concerns to DOT, given the expected adverse economic impact of the decision on CPA and the Commonwealth.
DOT’s action takes effect on June 16.
DOT had said in a statement that U.S. carriers have asked to resume passenger service beginning June 1, and that the Chinese government’s failure to approve their requests is a violation of their Air Transport Agreement.