Thursday, 27 March 2014

Myanmar aims for new heights in aviation sector

MYANMAR'S Ministry of Transport has revealed grand plans to overhaul the aviation landscape and transform Myanmar into an Asian aviation hub.

Speaking at the Myanmar Civil Aviation Development Conference 2014 in Yangon this week, Nyan Htun Aung, union minister of transport, said: “For the future of Myanmar’s aviation sector, we have set a vision that aims to make Myanmar become a major (aviation) hub in Asia.”

Four strategic thrusts were outlined: pursuing the liberalisation of economic regulation; establishing new air links to international destinations; promoting national airlines and improving infrastructure.

Tin Naing Tun, director general of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said the ministry will first conclude air services agreements with new bilateral partners and revise some old agreements with more liberal provisions.

Myanmar will also expand air route networks to Europe, the US and Australia, as it is already linked to Japan and emerging economies like India and China, he said.

The ministry will also raise the safety and service standards of its national airlines to put it on a par with regional airlines. Furthermore, the DCA is allowing the set-up of private airlines under relevant waiver clauses despite this being disallowed by current legislation.

Finally, Tin Naing Tun said the ministry has embarked on public-private partnerships for the development of infrastructure such as airports. “These steps are supported by our new foreign investment law, paving the way for foreign investors to make investments in 20 air transport service sectors, including airports and air carriers,” he added.

Total passenger traffic to Myanmar numbered 6.5 million in 2013, a 16.5 per cent increase compared to 2012, according to DCA statistics. Twenty-eight international airlines were operating in Myanmar last year, with eight LCCs, more than double the 12 airlines in 2009.

source: TTG Asia
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