‘Revenue not issue for Delta’


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres clarified Wednesday that the carrier did not see a lack of revenue as the main reason for stopping flights between Saipan and Narita, Japan.

Torres said in an interview that Delta Air Lines, which announced that they would be stopping flights between Japan and Saipan this May 6, 2018, did not see the lack of revenue as an issue for providing flights from Narita.

While recognizing that there is growing concern regarding the Japanese tourism market in the CNMI, which was 10 percent of total CNMI arrivals in 2017, Torres clarified that Delta was actually “revenue-making” here.

“…The whole portfolio for Delta is the reason why they are pulling out, which is important to acknowledge,” said Torres of his meeting with several Japanese airlines last week.

“We continue to work with other airlines…and we gave our commitment to all the Japanese agents…to bring back [Japanese] airlines,” he said. “We spoke with [the] Commonwealth Ports Authority last week along with [the Marianas Visitors Authority board] to look at what kind of [incentives] we can give airlines to come in from Japan,” he added.

Delta announced in early February ending flights to Saipan and Palau from Narita and was reportedly withdrawing from Micronesia to focus on their U.S. mainland route expansion.

Earlier this year, Delta announced ending flights to Guam as well.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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