New Airline in Myanmar

A new airline in Myanmar

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The new airline is preparing for take-off in November

Inspired by the prospects of increasing tourism after the elections on 7 November, a new privately owned national airline with mysterious investments will launch next November. U Maung Maung Maung Maung Shwe Moe, the company's General Director, said lastwek.

It will operate two ATR 72-500 planes capable of carrying approximately 70 people and will operate regularly scheduled services to Nyaung Oo, Mandalay, Heho, Thandwe and Sittwe and less frequently to Tachileik, Lashio, Homalin, Myitkyina and southerly locations such as Dawei, Kawthoung and Myeik. The majority of Myanmar's visitors come from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Kunming," he said.

Maung Maung Maung Shwe Moe contested that the new airline was affiliated with Htoo Trading, the owner of Air Bagan, and Yangon-based ticket agent Sun Far Travel. However he declined to say who was behind the new airline. "I just want to say that Asian Wings is a private enterprise founded in the mid of this year.

We' re an autonomous entity and have no ties to other carriers or tour operators," he said. However, he said that the airline would get assistance from other local carriers. "We have made a suggestion to Myanma Airways to recruit its seasoned aviators. We' he said,'We will also be supported differently by other carriers.

Kanbawza Bank owns another new national airline, Air Kanbawza, which will take off this year with five Canadian MA-60 and ATR-72 aircraft with 100 seats. Burma has four major national airline companies: and state Myanma Airways.

Air Asia explores new airline in Myanmar as competitors increase

An AirAsia Bhd is in discussions with a prospective airline company in Myanmar. In the event of success, the Malaysia airline will be able to serve up to 95 per cent of the Southeast Asian air transport sector. Mr Fernandes explained to Reuters that he had found a potentially "respected" Sydney airline with a " good airline " and had gone through the necessary process to establish the new airline.

While he added that the airline will not be a big airline due to the present air traffic facilities, he said that the large Myanmar community offers further opportunities for expansion over the years. In addition to India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and Thailand, AirAsia now has business in Malaysia - its home country - and is planning to establish an airline in China.

CEO Tony Fernandes said in an Reuters conversation on Monday that he also expects AirAsia's JV to fly in Vietnam until October. AirAsia recently set up a JV for its groundhandling activities in Singapore and Malaysia and in the same months of this year divested its lease activities to the incumbent lease management company BBAM Ltd.

This move follows Myanmar's rejection last year of the Japanese ANA Holdings Inc. plan to establish an airline with its domestic airline Golden Sky World. It' also happening as Myanmar's tourism industry becomes more competitive. Singapore Airlines hosted a news briefing in Yangon last weekend to highlight its commitment to attracting travellers from both countries.

It now offers more than three full-service services a day between Yangon and Singapore, up from less than three before October last year. This includes two Boeing 737 and Airbus 330 SilkAir aircraft and an Airbus 330 wide-body Singapore Airlines aircraft between the two towns. The SilkAir is the local branch of Singapore Airlines.

Recently, the airline also expanded its week-long services to Mandalay. Whilst the present frequencies of air travel between Yangon and Singapore are adequate for ongoing air travel, the airline could consider expanding its fleet, especially for midday services, should air travel grow in the near term, said Desmond Pan, general manager in Myanmar for Singapore Airlines.

It currently serves seven South East Asia destinations. Out of the overall number of departures in the area, about 10 to 20 go to Myanmar. Whilst the volumes of foreign travel between the two nations have "always been strong", the number of Myanmar travellers to Singapore has increased by 30 - 40 hours since June 2016, during which Myanmar citizens who visit Singapore were exempt from Singapore visas under a 30-day Singapore visa waiver, Mr Pan said.

Singaporean citizens who travel to Myanmar for brief journeys no longer need to obtain a visas.

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