Two and a half years after suspending its regular air service to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Japan Airlines still has no plans to reinstate the route, citing the destination's continued unprofitability.
Reports JAL's public relation manager, Stephen Pearlman, says the company's main goal is to maintain profitability in the face of rising operational costs.
He says with that in mind, over the past years, the airline has been restructuring its international passenger operations, rebuilding its network by reallocating resources to high-profit, high-growth routes; whilst suspending low profit scheduled routes.
As a result of this restructuring, JAL's daily scheduled flights between Tokyo and Saipan and Osaka and Saipan were both suspended in October 2005.
Pearlman says other routes serving mainly leisure destinations were also affected by the restructuring; some were suspended and the flight frequency of others were reduced.
While the restoration of regular air service is still out of the question, Mr Pearlman says that JAL continues to serve the CNMI market via charter flights, which totaled 19 in the 2007 fiscal year.