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The Bangkok Airways service runs directly between Yangon and Phuket
Thailand's Bangkok Airways will launch non-stop services between Yangon and Phuket on 17 November, said Varong Israsena, Bangkok-based VP of the Myanmar Times in Yangon. Myanmar Airways launched a non-stop service between Yangon and Phuket a few months ago. Mr Varong said that many Thailand subsidiaries are opening offices in Myanmar and even the number of locally established businesses is growing, leading to an increased volume of corporate travel between two different nationalities.
"I see great opportunity in Myanmar. We would not be here if we did not see any opportunity for further growth," he said. "Myanmar's travelling trends are increasing as the country's GDP is growing at an amazing rate. Bangkok Airways and the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism had also talked about connecting Angkor in Cambodia with the antique city of Bagan, but the transaction failed because the Ministry of Civil Aviation refused to allow the stopover in Bangkok.
"Myanmar to Cambodia is possible if we fly to Bangkok. We do not believe that we have the air traffic control to fly between Cambodia and Myanmar, because every Myanmar departure must end up in Thailand. To go directly to Cambodia is, as far as I know, not allowed", Mr Varong said.
Bangkok Airways recently started flying from Yangon to Bangkok, Mandalay to Bangkok, Nay Pyi Taw to Bangkok and Yangon to Chiang Mai. We' re planning more departures to Myanmar's alternative cities," he said. The Bangkok Airways is working with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) to encourage corporate trips from CLMV lands (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) to Thailand's five major cities:
Bangkok, Phuket, Khon Kaen, Pattaya, Chiang Mai. In the context of this action, CLMV travelers will receive a specific track and up to 300,000 Bahts (9,600 USD/K12.92 million) per group at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. It is aimed at businesses and organizations from CMLV with at least 50 participants flying with Bangkok Airways.
The TCEB reports that the number of CLMV travelers has risen by up to 24 from 39,723 in 2016 to 49,270 in 2017. In 2017, Myanmar travelers were up 19.4 per cent year-on-year. "This is for Bangkok Airways, but if you are flying to Bangkok with another carrier, we can do it.
As TCEB is supporting corporate trips to Thailand, I expect that there will be more businessmen in Myanmar who will benefit," said Puripan Bunnag, TCEB Executive Vice President.