The Palau Asia Pacific Air reportedly announced last week that it will launch scheduled charter flights between Taoyuan and Saipan starting June 5, 2019, to draw the Taiwan travel market in the region.
As of press time yesterday, Saipan Tribune was still awaiting comments from Marianas Visitors Authority chair Marian Aldan-Pierce and MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion.
Concepcion disclosed last September that MVA has a strategic goal of having a diversified tourism economy, with 30 percent coming from Japan, 30 percent from Korea, 30 percent from China, and 10 percent from Taiwan, Russia, and everywhere else.
Concepcion said MVA is also working on direct flights from Taipei to Saipan.
According to news reports in Taipei, Palau Asia Pacific Air will use an Airbus A320 aircraft to fly Mondays, Saturdays, and Wednesdays every two weeks, providing six-day, six-day and five-day tour packages, respectively.
PAPA’s service will reportedly end in October when the summer flight schedule ends.
A general manager of a Taiwanese travel agency that partners with PAPA was quoted as saying that it is expected that 10,000 Taiwanese tourists will visit Saipan this summer.
PAPA said the inconvenient traffic options currently keep the number of Taiwanese tourists in the CNMI below 2,000 every year. Right now, Taiwanese travelers to the CNMI either transit through Incheon, South Korea, or Hong Kong.
The Taoyuan-Saipan route was reportedly first introduced in 2007 by EVA Airways, one of the airlines in Taiwan.