Delta Air says flight service to Saipan will continue

DELTA Air Lines will discontinue its Narita, Japan-Guam flights, but will maintain its Narita-Saipan flight service.

Hiroko Okada, Delta Air Lines corporate communications, said their last Narita-Guam flight will be on Jan. 8, 2018.

“Delta has decided to discontinue service between Narita and Guam…as the demand has not been strong enough to sustain the route,” she added.

“Delta plans on providing impacted customers the option to travel on other airlines. Delta will continue to operate a daily service from Narita to Saipan and a twice-weekly service to Palau,” Okada said.

Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Chris Attao Concepcion in a statement said: “MVA is aware of Delta’s decision to terminate their flights to Guam effective Jan. 2018. This will have zero impact on Delta’s operations in the CNMI.”

He added that MVA “maintains strong positive relations with our partners at Delta. Without Delta, the Japan market would suffer irreparable harm so we are grateful for their continued support.”

He said Delta Air’s pulling out of Guam should be a wakeup call for the CNMI.

“MVA and the CNMI government are doing all we can to revitalize the Japan market but we need adequate funding in order to do this. The recent cuts to our FY ‘18 budget proposed by the Legislature is unhelpful, to say the least. Delta has served the CNMI for 28 years, Guam for even longer, so this is a wake-up call for us. We all need to pitch in — MVA, the Commonwealth Ports Authority, the hotel association, the private sector and the whole CNMI government — to ensure that this route remains profitable for airlines.”

According to Concepcion, “We acknowledge there were many factors that contributed to Delta’s decision to cut off their Guam route while maintaining their Saipan route and I’m sure they’re all based on economics and the long-term potential for our destination. We believe the CNMI offers huge potential for airlines and other businesses who see the huge upswing in arrivals, new hotel properties being developed and the integrated casino resort being planned for Saipan as long-term investment opportunities. These are all important factors that airlines look to when deciding whether to keep or start a new route.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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