Citing a dramatic hike in fuel costs and low sales, Continental Airlines revealed it will soon end service between Saipan and Manila, the only direct flight on the island to the Philippines.
The move threatens to limit access to specialized medical care for locals and disrupt travel for many foreign workers.
The Public Health Secretary, Joseph Kevin Villagomez, said hospitals in Manila are the primary recipients of local hospital patients with ailments that require advanced treatment.
He said the alternative of airlifting patients to Guam would prove costly and highly problematic.
Continental in statement said it will stop service on the Saipan-to-Manila route on July 16.