Myanmar new AirlineNew Myanmar airline
Air Asia to establish a new airline for Myanmar
AirAsia, Malaysia, is in discussions with a prospective airline carrier to open a new airline to operate in Myanmar, said CEO Tony Fernandes Reuters on the fringes of the ASEAN Sydney Conference. "We had a good get-together with someone in Sydney - he has a good airline we've known for a long while and he's a respectable man.
We are going through this process," said Mr Ferandes, without mentioning the prospective mate. From July 2017 Myanmar was flown to by 10 German carriers with a fleet of 58 aircraft. As well as the Myanmar plan, the airline is expected to be established in Vietnam in October and ultimately in China.
The new airline remains on the ground
Burma's newest airline, United Myanmar Air or UMA, is still on the ground, despite the airline's announcement that it will fly to heaven by September last year. It is the second airline in the world to have suffered another blow recently when it failed to make its maiden December turn. The Rangoon carriers say the delay is caused by funding difficulties.
It has not even rented airplanes yet and cannot even buy to hire its personnel, said an officer of UMA affiliate Myanmar Airways. This new airline was established last July as a 50/50 JV between the state-owned Myanmar Airways and Sunshine Strategic Investments headquartered in Hong Kong. It has been agreed to fly to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore with two Boeing 737-400s under lease.
An Air Mandalay executive said the UMA's failure to launch in the high seasons is not a good sign for the new airline. Over the past ten years, the German airline industry has grown. Today, four local carriers fly in Burma. Myanmar Airways, the only fully publicly held airline, founded the Myanmar Airways Int l. (MAI) in 1992 as a jointventure with Region Air, an airline headquartered in Singapore.
Later two other carriers, Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways, took off. Burma's federal and state governments hold stakes in all four corporations, each in a jointventure with the state-owned Myanmar Airways. Yangon Airways' main proprietor and CEO, Aik Hauk, is an ethical Wa executive who is said to be implicated in the drugs trade, says a Rangoon-business-man.
Aik Hauk has a strong connection with Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt and his business has worked with the Yangon City Development Council on several major building-project. Yangon Airways was founded in October 1996, the Thai Krong Sombat Co Ltd had a 49 per cent share and Myanmar Airways 51 per cent.
However, after one year, the Thai firm suffered increasing loss and divested its whole interest to the Myanmar Mayflower Group. Myanmar Mayflower's shares a few years later, said Rangoon business man Aik Hauk. Today, Yangon Airways is the only airline in Burma partially held by Burmese locals. The Air Mandalay is a 60 per cent holding JV between Myanmar Airways and the Malaysian Kemayan Group.
It has recently added a third aircraft to its aircraft fleets, said Air Mandalay officer. In addition to internal services, Air Mandalay also operates a service to Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. Although the UMA continues to fly the Burmese banner, MAI has extended its itineraries to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. In addition, last months MAI started twice a week departures to Hong Kong at a special price of only $99 for a round-trip airfares.
It is planned to start operations from Rangoon to New Delhi in early 2004.