SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (AP) _ A controversial plan to charter a commercial airliner to retrace the flight of the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, has been canceled because of a lack of interest.

``There were not enough passengers to make the flight possible,'' the Northern Marianas Commemoration '95 Committee said in a statement Thursday.

The committee had hoped to charter a Continental Micronesia jetliner for a peace mission to Hiroshima on Aug. 6, the 50th anniversary of the atomic bomb flight from the Pacific island of Tinian to the Japanese city.

Commemoration chairman Jerold Facey blamed the lack of interest in the proposed trip on negative media coverage in Japan.

Instead, a seven-member delegation that will include Northern Marianas Lt. Gov. Jesus Borja and Tinian Mayor Herman M. Manglona will take a regular flight to attend a memorial ceremony in Hiroshima on the anniversary date.

``Although the size of the peace mission will be considerably smaller than originally envisioned, the message of peace it will bring is no less fervent and sincere,'' Borja said.

On the morning of Aug. 6, the jetliner was to circle Tinian and then fly to Hiroshima, following the flight plan of the Enola Gay on Aug. 6, 1945. The plane was to carry a resolution denouncing war.

In Japan, the plan was criticized as inappropriate by some survivors of the world's first atomic bomb attack, which killed 140,000 people.