SONGSONG Rota — Rota Resort & Country Club is hopeful that an extension of air service by Continental’s Cape Air could keep the island open to international links.

"An extension would depend on the situation " Naoki Ikeno general manager of Rota Resort & Country Club told the Journal from Rota. "Without the support of the Rota people it would be very hard to get an extension " he said.

Continental Connection which is operated by Cape Air and Rota Resort have signed an agreement on the airline’s continued flights to Rota that will take effect on Oct. 11 and expire on March 31 2007. Continental Connection had announced Rota flight suspension due to financial constraints and low passenger demand.

"Cape Air is Rota’s business lifeline. We hope to keep this lifeline open. We have to try our best " Ikeno said adding that he would be coordinating with Rota Resort’s main office in Japan to help bring in more tourists to the island.

"Tourism is Rota’s only industry. Without tourists all businesses here will go down from restaurants to hotels and gas stations " he said.

Continental Connection will include three roundtrips to Rota a week between Rota and Saipan and Rota and Guam. The airline started daily service between Guam and Rota on July 1 2004. MBJ