After a series of successful charter flights, Japan-based low cost airline Skymark Airlines has started its first international flights connecting Tokyo and the Pacific island of Saipan.

The first of the daily scheduled Tokyo-Narita to Saipan flights touched down in Saipan on Friday afternoon (November 29 in Saipan) with the 737 jet carrying 177 passengers on the first flight between Japan and Saipan since Delta ended its Tokyo-Saipan flights in May of 2018.

Skymark's daily service will use Boeing 737-800 between Narita and Saipan with 177 seats in an all-economy 3-3 configuration. With the new flights, it is a much needed boost to Saipan's tourism industry which has been lacking a direct airlink to Japan. Previous airlines that have served the market including Japan Airlines and Delta have ended up exiting the market.

“Today is a time to celebrate because we have worked on this for the last couple of years and we would not be here without everyone’s contribution,” Saipan Governor Ralph DLG Torres said. Torres was also part of a delegation of Saipan officials on the first flight from Tokyo to Saipan.

Travelers can book travel either way (including from Saipan) via the Skymark Airlines website.

Founded in 1996, Skymark is based at Tokyo's Haneda Airport and operates a fleet of 29 737 aircraft to 11 destinations within Japan.

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