Narita to Saipan will be airline’s first regular int’l service
Skymark Airlines Inc. has announced the launch of its first ever regular international service, a non-stop flight connecting Narita, Japan and Saipan by the end of December 2019.
Skymark, a low-cost domestic airline based in Japan, announced its first regular foray into the international market over the weekend.
The Marianas Visitors Authority welcomed the announcement and expects this development to boost arrivals from Japan to the Marianas.
“We are pleased to see a firm and continued commitment from them to continue all the preparations and meet all Japan and U.S. requirements to begin regular flight service to the Marianas,” said MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo in a press statement.
Skymark said the new service between Narita and Saipan, and between Narita and Nagoya (Chubu) will begin by the end of December. The regular service between Narita and Saipan will be once daily, with a flight time of approximately three and a half hours, while service between Narita and Nagoya will be twice weekly.
In the press release announcing the new flights, Skymark said they look forward to offering customers with the experience to explore the wonders of the CNMI. The airline said this will accelerate travel demand and mutual exchange between Japan and the CNMI.
Skymark said preparations for the two new service are now underway.
Skymark will announce as soon as they are confirmed further information on inaugural flight dates, schedules, reservation opening dates, and others.
Iakopo said that negotiations between Skymark and the CNMI have been moving forward for over a year now and that this announcement of regular flight service is one step closer to launch date.
Iakopo said they have been eagerly awaiting the commencement of these flights and that, based on the success of Skymark’s previous charter flights, MVA is confident this regular service will increase Japanese arrivals to the CNMI.
“We look forward to it and are planning our marketing and promotions to support the launch,” she said.
From March to September this year, Skymark operated 19 charter flights to Saipan.
Early this month, a Skymark official stated they are still trying to obtain official regulatory approval to operate regular daily flights to Saipan.
Skymark international flight preparation office assistant general manager John Furuya told Saipan Tribune they are doing their best to get such approval so they can have their regular operation at the soonest.
Last March 22, Skymark made a historic touchdown on Saipan with a chartered B737-800 plane carrying 173 passengers, making it the first Japanese carrier to fly directly to Saipan since Japan Airlines withdrew from the CNMI in 2005.