Rota delegation happy with more air seats

Members of the Rota Legislative Delegation were ecstatic to learn that a Tinian-based airline is preparing to offer additional seats for their Saipan and Rota and Guam and Rota flights by late July 2019.

Star Marianas Air announced Monday that they would be offering more seats between the three islands after a request by Sen. Teresita Santos (Ind-Rota) during a meeting between delegation members and airline executives.

The additional seats, according to Santos, would “tremendously assist” Rota residents and visitors.

“Since United Airline’s decision to stop flights in and out of Rota, the people have experienced personal hardship [due] to the loss of flights,” she said in a statement. “I wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Star Marianas Air Inc. [for adding] flight routes between Rota and Guam…in consideration of the verbal request that has been made regarding this matter.”

United Airlines’ regional carrier to Rota, Cape Air, pulled out from Rota last May 2018.

Sen. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota) and Rep. Donald Manglona (Ind-Rota) similarly gave thanks to Star Marianas.

Ultimately, Sen. Manglona wishes for Rota to have the capacity to entertain international flights in order to boost the economy of the island.

“I am very grateful on behalf of the people of Rota and the CNMI,” Sen. Manglona told Saipan Tribune in a statement. “…I only wish that we can work with United Airlines,” adding that there is a need to take it “one step further” to accommodate international travelers as well.

“On behalf of my office and the people of Rota, we extend our appreciation and gratitude to the Star Marianas Air Inc… for their dedication in providing Rota with reliable air services,” Rep. Manglona told Saipan Tribune.

From here on, he noted, all that is left is to maintain relationships with the airlines.

Rep. Manglona noted that he wishes for Rota to continue to be known as a premier tourist destination in the CNMI, despite its struggles with transportation.

“We hope that Star Marianas can consider expanding its fleet, even an upgrade in aircraft, to provide more seats to and from Rota,” he added.

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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