Star Marianas Air Inc. decided yesterday to postpone the resumption of scheduled passenger flights between the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
The interisland carrier announced its decision after consultation with, and at the request of various CNMI government agencies. Instead of resuming operations today, Friday, their new target start of limited passenger operations is now May 22, 2020.
Star Marianas said this announcement does not affect their current operations of cargo flights, medical patient transfers, and COVID-19-related support flights.
Star Marianas assured that they will provide updates as they become available. “Passengers with paid confirmed bookings between Rota and Saipan can contact our reservation office at 670-433-9996/9998 between the hours of 8am and 12pm to arrange for a refund,” the company said.
On Wednesday, Star Marianas announced its plan to resume passenger flights, supposedly starting today, Friday.
Commonwealth Ports Authority board’s airport operations committee chair Barrie C. Toves said yesterday that the CNMI is now in a much better position and prepared with countermeasures established a few months ago.
“So it is inevitable that Star Marianas will resume inter island flights following United Airlines’ lead,” said Toves, who is a resident of Rota.
Rota currently has no COVID-19 case.
Star Marianas suspended its flights between Saipan, Tinian, and Rota starting last April 2, but continued to provide 24-hour emergency flight services for patient transfers and other transportation needs to support control efforts in the fight against the COVID-19. It also continued to provide interisland air cargo services between the CNMI and Guam.