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Japan service to begin next month

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Nov. 3, 2008) – Asiana Airlines has added three regular flights to its Saipan-Korea route and will launch its Saipan-Japan service next month.

The three new regular flights from Inchon will result in an increase in the number of Saipan-Korea flights from four to 14 times a week.

Asiana Airlines’ general manager on Saipan, Kwang Joong Kim, said they want to bring in more Korean tourists to the CNMI.

Asiana’s parent company, Kumho Group, is currently developing the Laolao Bay Golf Resort Saipan, which aims to attract high-end tourist golfers.

"It is our aim to sell 10,000 memberships to high-end golfers around the globe…and the additional flights from Inchon will make it happen for our Laolao project," Kim told Variety on Friday.

On Dec. 19, he added, Asiana will launch its new Saipan- Osaka flight service.

"This is the first time that we’re opening up our flights to Japan. We will launch three flights every week from Osaka next month," Kim said.

The Japan flights will use an Air Bus 321 with a seat capacity of 177 — 165 in the economy class and 12 in the business class.

The flights to and from Osaka are scheduled every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

Each flight will depart Osaka at 9:50 p.m. and will arrive here at 2:20 a.m.

From Saipan, flights will depart to Osaka at 4 a.m. and will arrive there at 6:40 a.m.

"These flights will bring the Japanese tourists and golfers to Laolao Resort," Kim said.

By the end of this year, he added, Asiana will have 21 regular flights weekly to the CNMI — three for Osaka, 14 for Inchon and four for Busan.

Next month, Kim said Asiana will use a Boeing 767 which has a seat capacity of 250 people.

Asiana is currently using an Air Bus 330 with a 290-seat capacity and an Air Bus 321 which has 177 seats.

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