NEW ROTA AIR SERVICE BODES WELL FOR TRAVELERS

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SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, July 1) -- The Commonwealth Ports Authority expects better services and lower airfare to follow after yesterday’s kickoff of Cape Air flights between Guam and Rota.

The introduction of Continental Connection, which is a partnership between Continental Airlines and Cape Air, brought to three the number of options available for Guam and Rota commuters.

The two other air carriers servicing the route are Freedom Air and Pacific Island Aviation.

"Services will improve and pricing is going to be more attractive. That’s what happens when you have competition," CPA executive director Carlos Salas said.

Pacific Islands Aviation currently charges $153.36 for a roundtrip ticket between Guam and Rota, while Freedom Air charges $140.

A similar ticket could cost as low as $122.86 at Cape Air, if the reservation is made at least three days in advance.

Continental Connection offers non-stop, three times daily flights between Guam and Rota.

The new flights will leave Guam at 8:15 am, 1:30 pm, and 6:00 pm. They will depart Rota at 10am, 2:50pm, and 7:10pm. Flight time is approximately 30 minutes.

"As a Continental Connection partner, Cape Air will operate the new service with 9-passenger Cessna 402 aircraft during the month of July. The airline intends to expand its service within the CNMI using larger ATR aircraft, as soon as completing necessary regulatory requirements," said Walter Dias, Continental Micronesia vice president for sales and marketing.

Dias also said that Continental has also teamed up with the Rota Resort & Country Club for its Holidays package that includes round-trip airfare from Guam to Rota, two nights at the Rota Resort, and airport-hotel transfers for as low as $197 per person based on triple occupancy. The promo, which includes a special golf package, including a day of unlimited golf at Rota Resort, is also available.

Also, Continental stressed that OnePass members may earn double miles on Continental Connection flights operated by Cape Air when flying between Guam and Rota.

Interested individuals are urged to register online at www.continental.com to take advantage of this offer, which is valid between July 1, 2004 and August 31, 2004.

Continental Airlines is the world’s sixth-largest airline with more than 2,800 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Continental serves 149 domestic and 117 international destinations-more than any other airline in the world-and nearly 200 additional points are served via code share partner airlines.

Continental Micronesia is headquartered in Guam and operates a Pacific hub from the A.B. Won Pat Guam International Airport. A wholly designed subsidiary of Continental Airlines, Continental Micronesia offers more than 290 departures each week between 22 cities throughout the Pacific Rim, the Micronesian Islands and Hawai‘i with a fleet of 13 next-generation Boeing 737 narrow-body and 767 wide-body aircraft. (Agnes E. Donato)

July 2, 2004

Saipan Tribune: www.saipantribune.com

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