Marianas Variety

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    Saturday, December 7, 2019-5:17:34P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Suspension of Shanghai, Guangzhou, HK flights to hurt NMI, lawmaker says

THE suspension of flights from Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong will hurt local tourism, House Commerce and Tourism Chairman Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero said on Tuesday.

Joseph LeePan Tenorio Guerrero

In a leadership meeting on Monday, Guerrero raised a concern about a memorandum from a Southern China Airlines announcing the suspension of two of four charter flights from Shanghai and two charter flights from Guangzhou, China starting Dec. 2, Monday.

Guerrero also noted that Hong Kong Airlines has suspended its flights since last week due to ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Airlines caters to junket operators of Imperial Pacific International who bring charter flights to Saipan, Variety was told.

In an interview, Guerrero said there is no guarantee that the regular flights of Skymark Airlines from Japan will make up for the reduction in tourist arrivals from China due to the suspension of flights from Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

He said the flight service of Skymark is still in its infancy. Its promotional flight service from Nov. 29 to March 1 will show if regular flights from Narita to Saipan are feasible, Guerrero said.

Once the cheap promotional fare of Skymark ends in March, the number of passengers may decline, he added.

Guerrero said the situation in China and President Trump’s trade war with the Asian country as well as his hard-line stance against immigrants are hurting the tourism industry of the CNMI.

“Now the Chinese government is telling its people not to travel to the U.S. and its territories. That is something we have to worry about,” Guerrero said.

“A big reduction of tourist arrivals from China is bound to happen, and it will hurt all the businesses here,” he added.