XTRA Airways launched charter flight service from Nanjing, China to the Marianas on Sept. 24, 2017.
Passengers on the inaugural flight were greeted with shell leis upon arrival early on Sept. 25.
The flight schedule departs Nanjing Lukuo International Airport for Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday and opens up the east region of China to the islands.
“The MVA is pleased to welcome XTRA Airways as the newest airline serving the Marianas,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “We will continue to work closely with the airline to support this new service and give better access to the islands for our visitors from China.”
A launch event was held in Nanjing Lukuo International Airport on Sept. 6, 2017, where the MVA promoted the Marianas to attending media and other travel trade representatives.
The MVA also met with local travel agencies to discuss co-op opportunities.
The airline is operating a Boing 737-800 with 186 seats.
“The MVA is in talks with XTRA Airways and other partners about possible flights in the future from other regional countries, including Japan and Taiwan,” added Concepcion. “With XTRA Airways’ plans to base their fleet and crew in the Marianas, this opens up new possibilities for the tourism industry.
So far this fiscal year, the Marianas has received 211,316 visitors from China, comprising 35 percent total visitor arrivals. (MVA)