Star Marianas seeks info about new interisland airline


Star Marianas Airlines Inc. has initiated an Open Government Act request demanding that the Commonwealth Ports Authority disclose its conversations with Saipan’s MP Enterprises and Southern Airways Express over a planned airline that will provide interisland air service in the CNMI.

SMA sent its OGA request to CPA officials last week, stating that it wants to see all related documents and communications, among others, made available no later than Monday, June 6. SMA did not specify in its request what it needs the information for.

“Pursuant to 1 CMC $9917 (a) of the Commonwealth Open Government Act, Star Marianas Air, Inc. requests that the following be made available for inspection and possible copying: all documents and communications of any kind by and between the Commonwealth Ports Authority, MP Enterprises, and Southern Airways Express,” SMA stated in its request.

In response, CPA chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds said that SMA can do as it pleases but she remains focused on supporting a policy that would provide an opportunity for other airlines interested in providing interisland service for the CNMI.

“SMA is going to do what SMA wants to do. What I’m far more interested in is supporting policy that creates an opportunity for new entries into the market for interisland passengers so that the communities of Tinian and Rota will never again be held hostage by any recalcitrant service provider,” she said.

Aside from communications between CPA and stakeholders of the new, unnamed airline, SMA also wants all documents and communications of any kind by and between CPA and Ricondo & Associates, including but not limited to communications with Bonnie Osage.

In addition, SMA also wants all documents and communications of any kind by and between CPA and any other party, other government agencies, and the Office of the Governor concerning or relating to intra-island travel in the CNMI, interisland travel between the CNMI and Guam, and the Airline Incentive Program.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, this new planned airline is a joint venture between Saipan’s MP Enterprises and Southern Airways Express, considered as America’s largest commuter airline. The intent is to “revolutionize” interisland travel within the CNMI, according to Keith Stewart, president of MP Enterprises.

“We will launch service with multiple aircraft based [on] Saipan and [in] Guam, and we are planning for a total of seven aircraft over the next three years to meet the growing demand,” said Stewart.

Services will commence in July. The company will announce the airline name, schedules, fares, and open ticket sales in the coming weeks once U.S. Department of Transportation’s approval of the local trade name has been received.

According to Stewart, the initial offering will include over 90 weekly flights serving Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and Guam.

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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