JAL pullout costs Marianas $70 mn

The loss of Japan Airlines (JAL) flights to Saipan has reduced revenue from tourism for the Northern Marianas economy by a projected $70 mn.
This has occurred in the first five months since the pullout, according to data released by the government tourism agency here.

The Marianas Visitors Authority figures show 186,766 tourists visited from October through February, 42,609 fewer than in the corresponding period a year before.

US-based financial analyst Economists.Com said that for every tourist lost, the Northern Marianas economy lost about $1,647 in potential earnings.

JAL used to bring more than 180,000 tourists to the Northern Marianas each year, but it axed its 14 weekly return flights between Tokyo and Saipan in October as part of its cost-cutting program.