The CNMI and Skymark Airlines sealed their partnership last week after representatives of both parties signed a joint promotional agreement that would re-open direct flights between Japan and Saipan.
Skymark’s inaugural flight to Saipan is set in the first quarter of 2019.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who is still in Washington D.C. to attend the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, was joined in Japan by Marianas Visitors Authority board chair Marian Aldan-Pierce and MVA managing director Chris Concepcion.
They met with Skymark president Masahiko Ichie and the company’s other top executives in their headquarters in Tokyo.
Ichie had confirmed to CNMI officials that they would work more in launching direct flights between Japan and Saipan by March, which is still pending government approval and the availability of their aircraft.
Charter flights would kick off Skymark’s operations on Saipan until they could secure and launch regular scheduled flights.
MVA would assist Skymark in marketing and promoting the CNMI in Japan as part of the joint promotional agreement that both parties signed.
The administration, in a previous statement before the signing, said the agreement was a product of their shared commitment to bring the Japanese market back to Saipan through new direct flights.
“This partnership is part of Gov. Torres’ priority to revitalize the Japan market and re-establish economic and cultural relationships between the people of Japan and the Marianas.”
Skymark is Japan’s third largest carrier and the first low-cost carrier in Japan. It is also the only carrier that offers domestic flights based at Haneda International Airport in Ota, Tokyo.