SMA’s Rota-Guam route is back


Star Marianas Airlines Inc. has resumed its flight service from Rota to Guam following the proposal made by two Rota lawmakers to fund the transportation of a Customs and Border Protection officer from Saipan to Rota.

According to a social media post made by Rep. Donald Manglona (Ind-Rota) over the weekend, Star Marianas has officially resumed flights from Rota to Guam and back.

“This is definitely great news for Guam and our Commonwealth, as we connect our people to the rest of the world. Special thanks to Star Marianas Air, Sens. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota) and Edith Deleon Guerrero (D-Saipan), CBP, and all those who have in one way or another contributed to the resumption of flight services between Guam and Rota,” he said.

Rep. Donald Manglona said that, although his and Sen. Paul Manglona’s office will temporarily be shouldering the expense of transporting CBP officers from Saipan to Rota, they continue to look for a permanent solution.

“While there are still some issues we will need to address, my office, along with the Office of Sen. Paul, have absorbed the cost of sending CBP officers to Rota to clear all outbound and inbound passengers, while we look for a more permanent solution,” he said.

Last week, Manglona sent out a letter to SMA general manager Jose Cruz, stating that his office and Sen. Paul Mangona’s are ready to fund the airfare for a CBP officer from Saipan to Rota once SMA agrees to resume flights from Rota to Guam.

Manglona noted that the lack of a CBP personnel to conduct a pre-clearance check was one of the reasons flight service between Rota and Guam was temporarily suspended.

Manglona said the immediate resumption of air service from Rota to Guam is vital for the people of Rota.

“This air service would provide the island of Rota, in addition to U.S. mainland and international destination transit flights, a greater opportunity for medical care, education, and access to affordable commodities on Guam,” he said.

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. Fortunately, thanks to the proposed agreement, SMA has successfully resumed scheduled flights to and from Guam from Rota.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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