What happened to mainland Micronesia?

Today we will look at what happened to the airline Continental Micronesia. The Guam carrier was an important link from the US via Hawaii and became a popular destination due to its proximity to Asia. Here’s a look back.

Before jumping on the airline, though, it’s best to understand a little bit about Micronesia. During World War II between Japan and the United States, Micronesia is a part of Oceania consisting of 2,000 small islands. Micronesia’s four main archipelagos include the Caroline Islands, the Gilbert Islands, and the Mariana Islands.


Owned by Continental Airlines

Founded in 1968, Continental Micronesia was a wholly owned subsidiary Continental Airlines. It is based at Antonio B. Von Patt International Airport (GUM) on the island Guam, the airline offered daily flights between the United States and Hawaii. The airline began life with a Boeing 727-100a Douglas DC-6and two Grumman SA-16 Albatross flying boats.

From the beginning, the airline had a monopoly in the Micronesia region and was the only travel link people had to the horizon. With the exception of the staff at the airline’s headquarters on the island of Saipan, all of the airline’s employees were Micronesians.

Boeing 727 Continental Micronesia

In the early 1980s, the airline expanded its territory with flights from Guam to Japan to lure Japanese tourists to the tropics. Until 1983, Mainland Micronesia operated Boeing 727-100, 727-200 and 727-combi cargo flights from Guam’s airport hub.

At one point, Mainland Micronesia was Guam’s largest private employer, with 1,500 employees and 236 departures per week from its base. On July 1, 2004, Mainland Micronesia entered into a deal with Massachusetts-based Cape Air to operate flights to the Mariana Islands, including Saipan.

Until the late 2000s, Mainland Micronesia had a monopoly on flights between Guam and Honolulu and profited from Japanese tourists looking to vacation closer to home. In 2009, Mainland Micronesia expanded its network with non-stop flights between Honolulu and Nadi, Fiji.

Continental Micronesia

In December 2010, Continental Airlines merged with United Airlines, resulting in the termination of Continental Micronesia’s operating certificate. On April 1, 2017, as a subsidiary of United Continental Holdings, Continental Micronesia became part of United Airlines. Since then, it has operated all flights to Micronesia United Airlines’ the main brand.

Destinations of mainland Micronesia

In addition to inter-island flights, Mainland Micronesia has linked the region to the United States with its daily flights to Hawaii. The second largest market for mainland Micronesia was Japan, from where tourists from nine Japanese cities came to the islands.

The airline also operated a 4,300-mile island-hopper route with five stops between Honolulu and Guam. The flight lasted 14 hours and 10 minutes, and because of the length, a third pilot was needed. After the merger, United took over many of the carrier’s routes using Boeing 737s.

N27246 B737-824 Continental Micronesia

Continental Micronesia’s route network was connected to its parent company in Honolulu, where passengers could connect to continental flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Newark. Due to Micronesia’s small population, many inter-island flights operate only once or twice a week, with the only daily flights from Guam to Honolulu, Manila, Palau, Fukuoka, Nagoya and Tokyo.

Continental Micronesia Navy

According to the aviation statistics website ATDB-aera Mainland Micronesia operated a fleet of the following aircraft:

2 x Douglas DC-6

6 x Boeing 727-100s

23 x Boeing 727-200s

8 x Douglas DC-100s

4 x Boeing 747-200s

Have you ever flown from Mainland Micronesia? Let us know in the comments!

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