Governor: NMI remains committed to Japan

(Press Release) — Governor Ralph D.L.G. Torres issued the following statement on Thursday:

Ralph D.L.G. Torres

“I want to reiterate and reaffirm our commitment to the Japan market. The CNMI tourism industry was built by Japanese investment beginning over 40 years ago.

“I will be calling an emergency meeting with the Marianas Visitors Authority and the Commonwealth Ports Authority next week to discuss ways to ensure airlift from Japan continues in the wake of Delta Air Line’s decision to suspend flights to the CNMI in May.

“With that being said, we ask for the community’s patience and support. It takes many months for an airline to receive government approval to launch flights from Japan and the U.S., but our commitment to continuing air service remains steadfast.

“MVA Managing Director Chris A. Concepcion and I met with Delta Air Lines in Tokyo this week to see if flights can continue on a charter basis if regular service is not feasible so we have time to map out our future plans for Japan. We want to reiterate that Delta did not pull out of just Saipan. They pulled out of the entire Micronesia region, Palau and Guam included.

“It was a corporate decision made in Atlanta and has nothing to do with the viability of the Saipan-Narita route. In fact, this route remains highly profitable with high yield and positive load factors. As we monitor shifts in the market, it’s only a matter of time before a new airline emerges on the scene. We met with a few other airlines who have expressed interest in serving the route. At this time, we cannot divulge that information due to nondisclosure agreements, but we will provide you updates. This opens up opportunities for new airlift from Tokyo, and conceivably from other large cities in Japan.

“My administration and I remain firmly committed to Japan, and this will never waiver. We want to reassure our Japanese business partners in the CNMI that the Japan market will rebound and there will be more opportunities for growth in the coming future. We ask for everyone’s patience and support.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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