United increases Saipan-Guam flights

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United Airlines’ inaugural Guam-Saipan flight is given a water salute by the Commonwealth Ports Authority Aircraft Rescue Fire and Firefighting special unit after it touched down at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport early last month. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

As hoped for by many of Saipan’s residents, United Airlines has officially announced that they are increasing their number of Saipan-Guam and Guam-Saipan flights.

As a result of the recent pull out of Cape Air Express, the United Airlines has been servicing Saipan-Guam and Guam-Saipan flights with seven daily flights a week. United Airlines currently offers one flight from Guam to Saipan and from Saipan to Guam daily. The current Saipan-Guam routes depart from Guam at 7am and arrive on Saipan at 7:45am and depart from Saipan at 8:45am and arrive in Guam at 9:30am.

Fortunately, over the weekend, it was announced that United Airlines will soon increase their Guam to Saipan and Saipan to Guam flights from seven daily flights to nine.

According to the announcement, beginning Aug. 2, 2018, the added flights are scheduled to depart Guam on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30pm and will arrive on Saipan at 12:15am the next day. The return flight departs Saipan on Wednesday and Fridays at 4:55am and arrives on Guam at 5:40am, respectively.

Sam Shinohara, Asia/Pacific Airport operations managing director, said that by adding two weekly flights between Guam and Saipan, Saipan customers are offered more opportunities to make a same-day connection to Honolulu, Hawaii and Tokyo, Japan with just one stop in Guam.

“This new service complements our recently announced reintroduction of wide-body aircraft flying twice-daily between Guam and Tokyo beginning on Oct. 28, as well as the 20 additional flights United will offer customers travelling between Japan and Guam during this summer’s peak travel season, Aug. 2 through Aug. 27,” Shinohara said.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said the nine weekly flights would also better accommodate CNMI medical patients transiting to Hawaii.

“I thank United Airlines for their commitment to the CNMI and for their genuine concern for the needs of our people, especially those who are travelling to Hawaii for medical attention. The timing of the flights is intended to make connections to Honolulu easier for medical patients. I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Dan Weiss, managing director for Global Government and Regulatory Affairs, for working with me to secure these additional flights at no cost to the CNMI taxpayer. I also want to thank Senate President Arnold I. Palacios and his letter of support from the Senate regarding our collective efforts to address our air transportation issues,” Torres said.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista 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 kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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