XTRA Airways says goal is to stay in business


Days after XTRA Airways cancelled its China-Saipan flight due to contractual issues between it and Dream Pacific Aviation Services HK Ltd., the Florida-based carrier said its goal is to stay and continue doing business.

“We are here to do the right thing and continue business. The company recognizes the time and money invested to begin and continue operations,” said Thomas Nolte, XTRA Airways Pacific operations manager.

“XTRA Airways is in continuous discussion with Dream Pacific and a meeting will happen soon in Miami,” he added.

The contractual issues between XTRA Airways and Dream Pacific Aviation ensued when the latter supposedly did not honor the terms of the agreement.

Dream Pacific Aviation Services HK Ltd. pursued XTRA Airways last year to provide services between China and Saipan.

However, contractual issues delayed the project. A company in charge of ticket sales under Dream Pacific also advised XTRA Airways that the contractually obligated schedule was to be reduced by nearly 70 percent, leading to the carrier carrying the financial burden.

“What we have here is a breach of contract. Another thing is that both parties agreed that 270 is the minimum number of flying hours in order for XTRA to keep crew and maintain aircraft costs. But for our first month, we only used 59 hours. That achieved only 22 percent of the goal,” Nolte said.

“XTRA Airways was set to fly to China-Saipan six times a week in the 4am and 5am arrival times. Instead of flying six times a week, we were down to only two flights a week,” he added.

Nolte said that XTRA Airways was really just a flight provider and that the contract of carriage is between Dream Pacific and the passengers because XTRA Airways does not have control on ticket sales or accommodations for the passengers when they arrive on Saipan.

“We are in the business of providing aircraft and taking passengers from A to B. That is what we intend to do, whether it is still with same client, Dream Pacific, or with a different one. We intend to pursue business in the CNMI because the market is up and the need for the service is there,” Nolte said.

“While flights are suspended and talks are happening, we intend to bring the service back. We have infrastructure in place to fly into China and we have permits from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration,” Nolte added.

He said that local hires have a choice to work in their offices in the mainland while operations here are halted.

“They are still employed with us; nothing has changed. We take care of our people. Some took the option to continue working in the mainland while some opted to stay here because of responsibilities they have to attend to here and we truly understand that,” he said.

“We remain optimistic as XTRA and Dream Pacific are finding viable solutions to the situation. We will be in service to the CNMI, no matter what the meetings and talks turn out with Dream Pacific. The possibility of having new clients is there as the CNMI is a growing market,” he added.

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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