‘We’re now in final stage to bring back Japan market’


Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres disclosed Friday that they are now in the final stages to consummate an agreement to bring back the Japan market in the CNMI.

In response to a question during a radio press briefing, Torres hinted that there is good news with the Japan market that he hopes to share with the public soon.

“So hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we’ll have an agreement that we can publicly announce,” he said.

The governor said Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo, along with MVA board chair Viola Alepuyo and the MVA board, is working tirelessly to make sure that the Japan market is the CNMI’s next priority to bring back to the CNMI.

With respect to Skymark Airlines, Torres said they are hopeful that Skymark will continue to be interested in flying to the CNMI.

“But we do also know that there are challenges,” said Torres as he thanked Skymark for being the CNMI’s partner during pre-COVID-19 pandemic.

Skymark has been reportedly operating at around 30% to 40% load factor, and lost millions over the last two years. The airline is reportedly now focusing on stabilizing their domestic operations, rebuilding their financial resources, and stemming the losses.

Now that the Japan market is opening up and the CNMI is moving forward on restarting this market for the CNMI, Torres said the CNMI welcomes any airline that will be able to assist the Commonwealth’s vision and goal to bring back the Japan market.

MVA is aiming to launch its Tourism Resumption Investment Plan for Japan sometime in July, with some airline carriers reportedly interested in resuming the Japan-Saipan route.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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