Friday, July 29, 2022
The Marianas Southern Airways, the CNMI's newest airline, will fly between Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and Guam in less than a month. This milestone is exactly what my administration has been working on for several years to achieve more reliable interisland transportation, support the local economies on Rota, Tinian, and Saipan, and improve the overall quality of life for our people.
Given Marianas Southern Airway's experience in Hawaii and other countries, they understand the CNMI’s unique need for efficient, affordable, and reliable interisland service. I hope that this will encourage more airlines to consider the CNMI as a potentially viable investment. The more airlines there are, the better for our economy, job possibilities, and transportation infrastructure.
I can only imagine how helpful additional flights would be for our citizens who need to commute between Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. We've had residents who couldn't travel around the holidays to be reunited with family. Now, we're hoping to avoid this issue.
In mid-August, Marianas Southern Airways will launch with more than 90 weekly flights between Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and Guam. This is fantastic for our community as it will provide a reliable daily service for Rota, Tinian, and Saipan, and eliminate an overnight stay in Guam. This reduces stress and costs for everyone who travels to the Marianas, most especially for our residents. On top of that, Marianas Southern Airways will offer introductory promotional fares for as low as $39 one-way to Tinian, $69 one-way to Rota, and $99 one-way to Guam. Residents can now travel for flights beginning on Aug. 12 at iflymarianas.com.
Multi-island transportation will stimulate the economy
Allowing Marianas Southern Airways to operate aligns with the Governor's Council of Economic Advisers' (GCEA) mission of improving the quality of life for our residents. The increased service enhances seat and cargo capacity between the islands, enhancing the possibility of transporting more visitors and goods. It will allow more tourist-related and local businesses to thrive.
Our parks, tourist attractions, and local activities have all played an important role in enticing visitors to stay longer. Looking back at the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 and the Taste of the Marianas festival, we saw a good mix of residents and visitors in attendance. We did this with our current interisland services, and I can only imagine how the new airline will positively support future events throughout the Marianas. It will provide more opportunities for visitors to visit Rota and Tinian to learn about the local cultures and revive tourism to where it was a decade ago.
Marianas Southern Airways could not have arrived at a better time, now that the Japanese market is expanding into the CNMI. The Marianas' long-standing historical and cultural ties with Japan, as well as existing Japanese investments in the Marianas' tourism offerings, have persuaded Japanese visitors to keep returning. The establishment of a tourism bubble with Japan, followed by transformations in the Marianas, paves the way for a new generation of Japanese travelers to visit the CNMI to experience what older generations of Japanese visitors have seen.
Our partnership with Marianas Southern Airways is a monumental achievement for the Marianas and marks the beginning of a brighter future for travel and tourism in the region. We need to support their efforts, along with every airline that provides service to the Marianas, if we want to continue to grow our economy, create jobs for our residents, and welcome more visitors.
I want to extend my appreciation to MP Enterprises President Keith Stewart and his team for their tremendous efforts to bring a new airline to the Marianas. I greatly appreciate Stan Little, chairman and CEO of Marianas Southern Airways, for taking a chance and seeing what the Marianas has to offer. To everyone who has played a role in bringing this incredible opportunity home, un dangkulu na Si Yu’us Ma’åse yan Ghilisow! Please join me in welcoming Marianas Southern Airways to their new home, the Marianas. Together, We Can!
For more information about GCEA’s programs, visit cnmieconomy.com, engage with the council on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy), or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Gov. Ralph DLG Torres
The Honorable Ralph DLG. Torres is the 9th Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the co-chairman of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers.