23 Jun 2009

U.S. Department of Transportation approves China Eastern Airlines' request

10:41 am on 23 June 2009

The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved China Eastern Airlines' request for a one-year authority to resume charter flights between Shanghai in China and Saipan in the CNMI.

The department issued the decision on earlier this month, a year after China Eastern filed the renewal application to be exempt from a United States law to engage in scheduled foreign air transportation of persons, property and mail between Shanghai and Saipan.

The Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino said it has already received bookings in connection with the expected resumption of charter flights.

The resumption of charter flights from China is considered a boost to the CNMI's tourism, especially Tinian which relies heavily on Chinese tourists.

Government and private businesses have asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to include China and Russia in the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program which will take into effect on November 28 which is also the start of transition to federal immigration system in the CNMI.