Acting governor Ralph DLG Torres hopes for a better working relationship with United Airlines, whose subsidiary, Cape Air, has been much maligned for poor services between the CNMI and Guam.
In an interview, Torres said Sam Shinohara, United’s managing director of business development in the Asia Pacific, paid a courtesy visit to his office yesterday.
One item discussed was the open letter to United that both Guam and CNMI attorneys general sent this month, lamenting the “subpar and declining quality of service” on United’s Guam-Honolulu international route.
“We talked about the letter that was written by both attorneys general, but also to have just a courtesy visit,” Torres said. “We did talk about the time when the air transportation between Saipan and Guam was very difficult but I also thanked him for a quick response on their contribution during [Typhoon] Soudelor.
“I know that there were several flights that were arranged—both cargo and personnel—that flew in from Guam that was not charged to the CNMI or those individuals that contributed,” he said.
Torres believes that flights lately have been more steady, and commended Shinohara on that.
“I hope that the issues that transpired that we have experienced on Saipan and Guam are in the past,” he said, noting that Shinohara made a firm commitment that transportation would continue with better services.
“I thank him for his courtesy visit. We look forward to working with him, and a better relationship,” Torres told Saipan Tribune.
Shinohara also met with CNMI Attorney General Edward Manibusan and Guam Attorney General Elizabeth Andersen yesterday, who is on island, according to AGO public affairs officer Carla Torres. She said a statement from both AGs was forthcoming.
The joint letter earlier this month this money raised concerns over the loss of free in-flight meals, increased costs for luggage, loss of free entertainment, older planes causing frequent breakdowns, and insufficient flight crews, to name a few.
Manibusan earlier said the letter was the first of many ventures the Consumer Protection Divisions of the CNMI and Guam Attorney General’s Office would embark on under a cooperative agreement between the two offices on behalf of local consumers for both islands.