– Medevac transport for health emergencies will not be disrupted
– Those who want to return or leave the CNMI have only this Sunday to fly
United Airlines has granted the request of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to suspend all its flights into and out of the CNMI from Guam from April 6 to 30, 2020, cutting off airline access to and from the CNMI for nearly a month.
The Commonwealth Ports Authority notified the public yesterday that the last flight into and out of the CNMI from Guam will be this Sunday, April 5.
This follows the confirmation of two COVID-19 cases in the CNMI and one death at the quarantine center on Saipan that is suspected to be due to COVID-19 complications.
CPA said that United Airlines cancelled tomorrow’s flight, Thursday. “If you must return to, or leave the CNMI, make your travel arrangements immediately by contacting United Airlines at 1-800-864-8331,” said CPA in its press statement.
As this developed, CPA yesterday also informed the public that U.S. Postal Services’ air shipment of cargo to and from Guam, and medical evacuation transport for health emergencies will not be disrupted by the temporary suspension of the Guam/CNMI United Airlines flights.
CPA said daily transport of mail between the CNMI and Guam is serviced by Micronesian Air Cargo.
“For air cargo shipment services interisland, to and from Guam, please call Star Marianas Air at 288-9988 or 286-5366 for more information. Let’s flatten the curve CNMI by staying home!” CPA said.
CPA said that, with two confirmed COVID-19 cases in the CNMI, continued inbound arrivals, however limited, divert desperately needed resources away from addressing the Commonwealth’s immediate need to contain the further spread of COVID-19 in the community.
CPA board chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds said yesterday that they appreciate United Airlines’ prompt response to the governor’s request and thank the company’s Saipan manager, David Baker, for his efforts to elevate this request to the highest levels.
“This was not the first [time we asked United Airlines to suspend flights] and I’m sure that if the governor deems it necessary to request an extension, he will do so again in the best interest of the wellbeing of the people of the CNMI,” King-Hinds said.
Skymark Airlines Inc.’s last flights between Saipan and Japan were last March 25, temporarily closing the CNMI’s door to international flights. The suspension of Saipan-Narita, Narita-Saipan operation will be until May 10, 2020.