Starting June 1, Star Marianas Air Inc. will be adding an additional flight to its twice weekly flight schedule from Rota to Guam.
According to Star Marianas president Shaun Christian, the airline will be flying from Rota to Guam and back every Wednesday on top of its weekly Monday and Friday flights. That would mean three SMA flights to and from Guam every week starting June 1.
“We just operated our first scheduled passenger flight between Rota and Guam last Monday since operations were suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions,” he said.
Beginning in June, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Star Marianas will be flying from Saipan to Rota at 11am to 11:30am, then from Rota to Guam from 12pm to 12:30pm. The airline will then fly back from Guam at 1pm to 1:30pm and the last flight from Rota to Saipan will be from 2pm to 2:30pm.
Christian said the resumption of flights from Rota to Guam would not have been possible with the collaborative effort of Rota legislators Rep. Donald Manglona (Ind-Rota) and Sen. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota), who are temporarily subsidizing the cost of flying to Rota a Customs and Border Protection officer who would process Guam-bound passengers.
“Our resumption of service would not have been possible without the assistance of Sen. Paul and Rep. Donald and without the cooperation of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and we are grateful for their support,” he said.
In a separate statement from Rep. Donald Manglona (Ind-Rota), he said that upon visiting the Star Marianas website earlier this week, only three of Star Marianas’ 91 passenger seats from Rota to Guam were available until the end of June.
“I went into SMA’s booking site and noticed that from now until the end of June, only three of the approximately 91 seats were left. This is a great sign that our traveling public are taking full advantage of this. Again, special thanks to SMA, CBP, and all those involved. This is just further proof and justification that a permanent CBP officer position is needed on Rota,” he said.
Star Marianas officially resumed its flight service from Rota to Guam last week following the proposal made by the two Rota lawmakers to fund the transportation of a CBP officer from Saipan to Rota.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, Star Marianas has wanted to resume flights from Rota to Guam for a while now but CBP’s recent requirement to have all outbound passengers cleared from Rota to Guam has been a challenge for the airline to resume the route.