Guam – The Fitial administration is planning on investing in a multimillion-dollar airline in partnership with private companies that could eventually serve as the CNMI’s flag carrier.
If that doesn’t materialize, acting governor Eloy S. Inos told Saipan Tribune that at the very least the Fitial administration will push for a privately owned carrier with government backing to directly fly tourists to the CNMI.
Inos said having an airline to bring in direct flights from Japan, China, Korea, and other markets is also key to establishing a casino industry on Saipan.
Inos said the government could also look to lease an aircraft or two for the planned flag carrier.
The government can award a flag carrier preferential rights or privileges for international operations, giving it a competitive advantage against other airlines.
Currently, the CNMI has Asiana Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Fly Guam as official signatory airlines. Charter flights, meanwhile, are being serviced by China Southern, Air China, and Shanghai Airlines.