Japanese low-cost carrier Skymark Airlines Inc. has asked the Commonwealth Ports Authority for an office space at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.
It was learned at a joint CPA board’s airport, finance, seaport, and personnel committees’ meeting at the Port of Saipan yesterday that Skymark has already made the request to lease space at the Saipan airport as it prepares to launch flights between Japan and Saipan.
All six board members at yesterday’s meeting agreed to place Skymark’s request on the agenda for action at a board meeting on Dec. 17.
According to the proposed lease agreement, Skymark will lease 1,226 square feet of floor area on the mezzanine floor of the airport’s terminal building for a monthly rent of $1,826.
Airport facilities committee chair Barrie C. Toves said the office space was previously occupied by United Airlines.
If Skymark is going to start operations in the CNMI, there is an airline user agreement that they need to execute with CPA that involves the flight operations itself, Toves said.
“The office space is a separate issue. It’s a lease agreement for them to have an office so they can operate,” said Toves in a later interview.
Skymark is being touted as a means to reconnect the CNMI to the Japanese market.
“We’re happy that Skymark opted to be linked to the CNMI,” Toves said.
He said when Delta Airlines pulled out their route from Japan, CNMI lost its connection to the Japan market.
Skymark is seen to fill that void of bringing Japanese tourists to the CNMI. “This is the beginning of their process to establish here, so we got the office space for them,” Toves added.
The CNMI government and Skymark sealed their partnership last week after representatives of both parties signed a joint promotional deal that would re-open direct flights between Japan and Saipan.
Skymark’s inaugural flight to Saipan is set in the first quarter of 2019.
Skymark is Japan’s third largest carrier and the first low-cost carrier in Japan.