Saipan may get first airline next year


<p style="text-align: justify;">Saipan Air, a new airline is expected to boost the troubled economy of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas’ (CNMI) when it launches toward the middle of next year. <!--more-->The airline will help increase tourist arrivals from Japan, the area’s largest tourist market, by an estimated 47 per cent.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">This would ramp up the region’s tourism businesses helping the territory’s economy to achieve its pre-2005 levels. The airline will use two Boeing 737 aircraft and will fly to and from the Japanese airports of Narita, Nagoya, and Osaka.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Japanese arrivals to the area have plummeted following the global financial crisis and Japans natural disaster woes. The decline is estimated to be a whopping 62 per cent.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Being reliant mainly on tourism, the decline has affected the economies of the three main islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Meanwhile, thousands of jobs have been lost as costs have skyrocketed in the import-driven market.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The territory hopes its economy will get off the ground again on the wings of Saipan Air.</p>
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