Kilili calls for more United flights to Guam



WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a letter to United Airlines chief executive officer Oscar Muñoz, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) has asked the air carrier to consider increasing the number of flights between Saipan and Guam each day.

United began a once-daily flight between the two islands on June 1. Cape Air, which had been providing multiple flights to Rota daily—stopped serving the market on May 31.

“This reduction in service will have a devastating effect on the traveling public,” Sablan wrote, citing increased travel times for connecting passengers, costs, and inconvenience.

The new United round-trip flight departs Guam at 7am, leaves Saipan at 8:45am, and lands back on Guam at 9:30am. Sablan noted that passengers connecting to United’s flight from Guam to Honolulu, a major route to the U.S. mainland, leaves at 6:40am. So, the new schedule forces Saipan passengers to wait 21 hours in Guam before they can depart for Hawaii.

“Likewise, passengers from Honolulu arrive at 6pm and have to wait overnight in Guam for 13 hours before they can connect for Saipan the next morning,” Sablan said.

In lieu of additional flights, Sablan recommended adjustments to the Guam-Saipan-Guam schedule to shorten wait-times.

The Marianas delegate is also thinking about the impact of the new flight arrangements on the island and people of Rota. Cape Air’s Saipan-Guam route included a Rota stop-over. United’s does not.

“I understand that the Commonwealth government is currently in talks with Cape Air to provide service to Rota. That is an avenue that should be fully explored,” he said. “If that effort falls through, however, I will be getting back in touch with United to recommend that they include stopovers on Rota, at least several times a week.” (PR)

Press Release
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