New Saipan-Rota flights


Star Marianas Air, Inc. now operates four daily scheduled flights between Saipan and Rota, with two in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Effective Aug. 14, according to their website, the local interisland carrier will fly Monday through Saturday every week, with its first flight from Saipan departing at 7:45am and arriving at 8:15am on Rota.

Its second morning flight leaves for Saipan at 8:30am and is scheduled to arrive at 9am.

For their afternoon flights, Star Marianas’ flight departs Saipan at 4pm and arrives half an hour later on Rota at 4:30pm. At 4:45pm, it departs for Saipan and is scheduled to arrive at 5:15pm.

Star Marianas can accommodate up to 32 customers each day using its four twin-engine eight-seat aircraft, according to administration officer Alma Canlas.

Canlas said all aircraft are air-conditioned and are equipped with radar, GPS, autopilot systems, and can fly under instrument condition both day and night.

In a statement, Star Marianas president Shaun Christian said, “SMA is doing the best it can to support transportation between the islands of the CNMI and Guam. Although challenges still remain in getting access through the Guam terminal, some progress has been made, thanks to the involvement of the leadership in the CNMI.”

Star Marianas has been flying 5,000-6,000 flights each month and has another twin-engine aircraft arriving either later this month or early September, according to Canlas.

With recurring problems to Cape Air services over the last few weeks, Star Marianas’ new flights come as another option to those who want to travel between Rota and Saipan.

According to Canlas, Star Marianas and Cape Air are the only two regional airlines certified to operate scheduled flights between the two islands.

Roy Manglona, who flew in from Rota yesterday, said the Star Marianas flight was “reliable.”

Star Marianas has its main headquarters on Tinian and operates a total of 12 aircraft.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at

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