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6,226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Domestic airfares to rise from March 8


By Zaw Win Than and Thomas Kean
Volume 31, No. 617
March 5 - 11, 2012


TRAVELLING in Myanmar is about to get more expensive, with domestic airlines to introduce a fuel surcharge this week that will see most ticket prices rise about 20 percent.

The rise comes after the Ministry of Energy announced on February 28 that it would sell aviation fuel at the market rate from March 1. It was not immediately clear what effect this would have on the overall fuel price.

Airlines immediately announced fares would rise from March 1 as a result but pushed back the increase one week following a backlash from agents and customers.

The airlines said the surcharge would depend on the destination, with increases ranging from K7000 to K18,000 for Myanmar travellers and US$10 to $25 for foreign visitors, with the largest increase on routes from Yangon to Myitkyina, Putao, Bhamo, Lashio, Kalay and Kawthoung.

Agents expressed concern last week that the sudden change could harm the image of the country’s tourism industry, as they would have to renegotiate prices with customers and external agents.

“Nowadays many tourists are visiting Myanmar and I am worried [the increase] will negatively impact on tourist arrivals,” said a representative from a Yangon-based tour company. “We don’t know why the ministry changed this policy. They should inform the airlines a bit earlier. Now many passengers are really not happy to pay the extra cost.”

Ma Eainsie Phyu from New Age Travellers said the imposition of the surcharge was premature and would cause “a lot of inconveniences” for agents and their clients.

“The fuel price will not be fixed anymore but no changes have been made yet. But the airlines just took the opportunity [to raise prices]. We can understand if the fuel price changes we have to pay accordingly but the fuel price has not yet officially changed,” she said.

“We’ll unfortunately have to request our clients to pay the surcharge directly to the airline when they check-in, although it will be problematic for both our company and our clients.”

She said Myanmar was an increasingly expensive travel destination, particularly relative to its neighbours, with some hotels in Yangon recently raising room rates by as much as 40 percent.

“Myanmar tourism won’t thrive in this region if these kinds of things happen regularly. We should remember that we are not alone. Travellers have tonnes of destinations to choose from.”

Customers who have already issued tickets for travel from March 8 will be required to pay the surcharge when checking in.

But U Myat Thu, an assistant general manager from Air KBZ, said his company would not levy the surcharge on tickets for travel before March 15 that were purchased before March 2.

“Those who buy a ticket with us from March 3 [for travel from March 8] will have to pay for the increased fuel surcharge,” he said.

6,226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Qatar Airways to relaunch Yangon flights


By Zaw Win Than
Volume 31, No. 619
March 19 - 25, 2012

QATAR Airways will launch flights to Yangon later this year as part of an expansion of passenger routes, the airline’s chief executive officer said last week at a leading travel trade fair.

Mr Akbar Al Baker said on March 7, the opening day of the ITB Berlin travel trade show in Germany, that Qatar Airways would add flights to Myanmar, Iraq, Tanzania and Serbia during a six-month expansion plan beginning in May.

He said the airline plans to begin services to Yangon by October this year, with three flights a week using an Airbus A-319 aircraft.

Myanmar Marketing Committee secretary U Phyoe Wai Yar Zar welcomed the announcement and said direct flights were likely to boost tourist arrivals, particularly from Europe.

“It has always been our desire to have as many direct flights as possible to Yangon to increase the carrying capacity of tourists,” said U Phyoe Wai Yar Zar, who attended the ITB Berlin event. “Let us now change our desire to have more hotel rooms instead.”

Qatar Airways launched Doha-Yangon-Doha flights in 2004 but suspended them in January 2008.

The news of Qatar Airways’ likely return comes after budget carriers Silk Air, AirAsia and Jetstar also announced plans to expand operations in Myanmar.

6,226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Airlines get to fly to 11 new international sectors this year

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ENS Economic Bureau : New Delhi, Sat Mar 24 2012, 03:06 hrs

In a move that will bring cheer to the ailing airlines industry, the government has allowed Indian carriers to enhance their services by adding 513 flights this year to foreign destinations.

The new destinations include China, Myanmar, Kazakhistan, Vietnam, Australia, Tanzania and Ethiopia. For travellers this could mean lower fares; for airlines, optimum aircraft utilisation.

The move comes as a follow up to the government’s decision that lifted the restriction on private airlines from fully utilising India’s quota for flying to destinations abroad.

Private airlines had been demanding that government open up international routes under the bilateral Air Services Agreements on which Air India had the first right to operate.

Last month, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh scrapped Air India’s right of first refusal, which was cited as the reason for carriers not being able to fly abroad, as reported by The Indian Express.

As a result, India’s reciprocal quota under the bilaterals (air service agreements between two nations which specify total seats each side is entitled to) remained untilised.

Initially, 11 sectors have been open for airlines, including Air India to fly to. They are: Mumbai-Dar-es-Salaam, Delhi-Guangzhou, Delhi-Yangon, Delhi-Tashkent, Delhi-Ho-Chi-Minh City, Delhi-Hanoi, Delhi-Almaty, Delhi-Macao, Delhi-Addis Ababa, Delhi-Melbourne, and Delhi-Sydney.

“While finalising the guidelines to ensure optimum utilisation of Traffic Rights, it was agreed that Air India’s operational plan would receive due consideration in allocation of the traffic rights and entitlements,” said Ajit Singh.

Starting this summer, Air India, including its low-budget international arm, Air India Express will operate 471 services per week, an increase of nearly 40 flights. This number will go up to 577 during winter.

... contd.

6,226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #56 ·
speculation that air asia may tap into Myanmar, i saw before on the air asia website the ydid plan a khmer air asia but it got scrapped

AirAsia zooming in on two more Asean countries
Thursday March 29, 2012

“We have been looking at options in North Asia and are working on adding two more countries in Asean. In North Asia, the next potential is South Korea and we are also closing in on Japan as that is where our next launch will be," AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes told StarBiz.

PETALING JAYA: After yesterday's first flight out of the Philippines and later this year out of Tokyo, AirAsia is now zooming on South Korea and two other Asean countries to set up new operations as it widens its reach to more countries in the Asia-Pacific.

“We have been looking at options in North Asia and are working on adding two more countries in Asean. In North Asia, the next potential is South Korea and we are also closing in on Japan as that is where our next launch will be.

“I will be spending the next three days in Tokyo and there they are building a low-cost air terminal to make travelling really low cost,'' AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes told StarBiz.

“We are also looking at adding two more countries in Asean and we hope to announce that within the next six to eight months. We are at a very advance stage of discussions (with parties in the two Asean countries),'' he added.

However, Fernandes declined to name the two Asean countries, citing confidentiality issues, although the market is saying that it may include Myanmar and Vietnam, where the carrier has tried but failed in its first bid.

The expansion would certainly help AirAsia expand the business from its current home base in Malaysia. For now, it also has operations in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Its tie-up with All Nippon Airlines will see it begin flying from Tokyo before the year-end.

“Asean is a booming market and as we add, our connectivity gets stronger and people can then travel from places such as Kuala Lumpur to Boracay Island onto Singapore and even Perth.

“The potential is huge and most people have not seen the vision that we have,'' Fernandes said.

Fernandes was in the Philippines to send off AirAsia Philippines for is maiden flight from Clark's Diosdado Macapagal International Airport to Kalibo, the gateway to Boracay Island.

AirAsia Philippines is a joint venture between a group of Filipino businessmen, led by Tonyboy Cojuangco, and AirAsia International Ltd, led by Fernandes. It was formally launched in August 2011. The airline got its licence to fly out of Clark on Feb 7.

AirAsia Philippines has two Airbus A320 and will initially operate flights from Clark to Davao and Kalibo. Flights between Clark and Puerto Princesa will commence next month and other destinations will be added later.

AirAsia Philippines is the sixth Philippine-based commercial airline and its competitors are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, AirPhil Express, ZestAir and SeaAir.

“The Philippines is a fantastic market where the economy is growing. They have said it will be a level playing field for us and this is something we never heard of when a new airline takes off. They also want to build a low-cost air terminal for us and it will be really low cost for passengers and that is music to my years,” Fernandes said.

“It is a country with 100 million population, so the potential is massive and the enthusiasm of the people here makes us want to build a franchise second to none.''

6,226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #57 ·
China Eastern Doubles Capacity to Mandalay, Myanmar
by JL

Update at 1000GMT 30MAR12

As per 30MAR12 GDS timetable and inventory display, China Eastern in Summer 2012 season is increasing capacity on Kunming – Mandalay route. From 25MAR12, the airline is operating Boeing 737-300 instead of CRJ200 aircraft to the second largest city in Myanmar.

Schedule as follows:

MU2029 KMG1405 – 1350MDL 733 D
MU2030 MDL1440 – 1720KMG 733 D

Liberty, Equality, Frate
121,815 Posts
Airlines plot out expansion plans to tap Myanmar rise

Published: 3/04/2012 at 02:24 AM

As Myanmar is opening up for investment, airlines are mapping out strategic plans to cash in on the surging traffic flows for business and leisure travel.

International carriers including Thailand's Bangkok Airways and Thai AirAsia are looking at raising capacity to Yangon and operating flights directly to other major cities like Mandalay, Bagan and even the new capital Naypyitaw.

Airlines see a potential boom in air travel demand to Myanmar as its political reforms saw opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) win a historic victory in Sunday's by-election.

Business travel is expected to significantly increase, particularly to the commercial city Yangon, as foreign investors, businessmen and executives fly to the resource-rich nation for business opportunities and deals.

Tourist flows to Myanmar, which started to jump the past two years, will continue as Naypyitaw plans to attract 1 million visitors this year, up from 816,369 in 2011 and 791,505 in 2010, according to state figures.

Tour operators specialising in Southeast Asia have been receiving robust demand for Myanmar-bound trips.

Several international airlines, including Cathay Pacific, are pondering using Bangkok as a possible gateway to enter Myanmar, as it has been for years.

All five Myanmar carriers and 16 international airlines operate out of Yangon International Airport, through which about half of foreign visitors arrive and depart the country.

Bangkok Airways is looking at adding more frequencies to its Bangkok-Yangon service, now at two flights a day, while discussing a partnership with Air Bagan to cover more cities such as Bagan and Mandalay.

"We are exploring code-sharing arrangements and looking at the timing to get such a plan off the ground," said Bangkok Airways president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osot.

No-frills carrier Thai AirAsia is pondering the viability of offering incremental service beyond its current two flights a day using the 180-seat A320 jet, which enjoys a high load factor. It is also waiting for approval from Myanmar on a Bangkok-Naypyitaw route.
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