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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Cape Air Resumes Normal Service In CNMI
Weeklong flight suspension caused by ‘technical issues’

By Moneth Deposa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, April 2, 2014) – After a weeklong suspension, Cape Air’s operations in the CNMI have resumed and all regular flights to and from Guam, Saipan, and Rota are back on schedule, according to Guam United Airlines spokeswoman Regine B. Lee.

"Cape Air is back in service and has resumed their normal flight schedule in the CNMI since March 30," Lee said in a statement.

All Cape Air flights from Guam to the CNMI were cancelled from March 21 to March 29, due to technical issues. One of the airline’s planes, prior to this announcement, reportedly made an emergency landing at the Francisco C. Ada-Saipan International Airport on the noon of March 21 that resulted in the cancellation of flights.

Lee told Saipan Tribune that with the resumption of Cape Air’s schedule, the same aircraft is being used to transport passengers to and from Guam.

"Yes. United has confirmed that the same aircraft is being used," Lee said, referring to the ATR-42 that recently went through a maintenance check.

Customers expressed relief after learning of the resumption of Cape Air’s normal operation, saying it is the only flight right now that provides the CNMI regular flights to Guam.

Cape Air’s competitor, Freedom Air, has temporarily stopped servicing the islands. The airline, which is undergoing bankruptcy reorganization in Guam, lost its insurance coverage last March 8.

One Cape Air customer who is booked for today’s flight to Saipan said that having a reliable air service prevents some customers from paying a higher airfare.

During the weeklong suspension of Cape Air’s operation in the CNMI, United Airlines provided an extra flight to affected customers, using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

It was the middle of last year when Cape Air resumed daily fights to Rota from a four-times-a-week schedule.

Saipan Tribune
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