Last week, United Airlines announced plans to cut Guam flights from China and Japan. Flights from Shanghai, China to Guam will stop on March 22, 2018 and flights from Sendai, Japan will cease on April 1, 2018.
United Airlines also announced it will cut other Japan destinations flying to Guam due to weak demand on those routes.
According to Guam Visitors Bureau president and CEO Nathan Denight, they are working closely United Airlines in spite of service cuts.
“We understand the situation. It’s not business as usual. We are working closely with United and our industry stakeholders to aggressively position and promote Guam as a destination of choice for Asian travelers,” he said
“We remain committed to the Japan market as we recognize the challenges, particularly with the weakening Yen. The tourism industry is Guam’s economic engine, and we continue to step up our efforts to aggressively market Guam in all of our Asian markets, most especially Japan,” he added.
Aside from strengthening ties with service flights, GVB is confident in Guam as a brand and how the Hafa Adai spirit campaign has helped tourism reach new heights.
“While FY 2017 was a record-breaking year for tourism, we also need to understand that our visitor mix has changed. Japan remains as a very important market to all stakeholders in this industry,” Denight said.
“We (GVB) will continue to work together with United’s offices in Japan. We thank United for their commitment to maintaining their Guam hub and for supporting our local economy,” Denight added.
Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Chris Concepcion said Guam is the CNMI’s sister island and whatever happens in Guam affects the CNMI.
“MVA is aware the tourists from Japan is shrinking around the world. We sympathize with our brothers and sisters in Guam,” he said.
“We also see some form of cuts in the CNMI in the future so our strategy is to be strong at enticing new airlines to fly our way. We call on the Commonwealth Development Authority and Commonwealth Ports Authority to make the CNMI profitable and give incentives to new airlines,” he added.
United’s announcement comes five months after Delta Air Lines announced a total pullout from its Guam-Narita service.
In its official statement last September, Hiroko Okada of Delta Air Lines corporate communications department said that Delta has decided to discontinue its service between Narita and Guam by January 2018, as the demand has not been strong enough to sustain the route.