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Myanmar embraces surge with airport renovation projects
Rahul Khanna, Yangon, August 28, 2013


MYANMAR'S aviation sector is being given a boost, with the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) launching projects to build up the country's airports. Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) also announced yesterday it would acquire a stake in Yangon-based Asian Wings Airways.


Win Swe Tun, deputy director general, DCA, said: “The projects will start in three months, but negotiations with the companies (that won the tender to upgrade or construct Myanmar’s airports) are continuing.”


He expressed hope that work on the airports would start before end-2013 or in early 2014. 


Yangon International Airport will have its capacity increased from 2.7 million passengers to six million annually by 2015 (TTG Asia e-Daily, November 2, 2012), a task to be undertaken by Myanmar’s Pioneer Aerodrome Services with Singapore-based Yongnam-CAPE-JGC as the backup operator.


Development of Yangon’s mothballed Hanthawaddy International Airport is also slated to get back on track (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 4, 2012), with the appointment of South Korea’s Incheon Airport consortium to the task. Yongnam-CAPE-JGC was selected as a backup.


Said Win Swe Tun: “ As Yangon airport will be able to handle (only) six million passengers a year, the rest of the passengers will go through Hanthawaddy.”


Completion of the first phase in 2017 will give Hanthawaddy capacity for 12 million travellers annually, and 30 million after the second phase is finished. 


Seven Star Tours Yangon’s managing director, Phyu Phyu Mar, said the development of Hanthawaddy was needed to cater for future growth in visitors, while Phyo Wai Yar Zar, managing director of All Asia Exclusive Travel Company, said such projects were very important for the direction of tourism in the country.


Separately, ANA announced in a release yesterday that it would buy a 49 per cent stake in Myanmar’s Asian Wings Airways for US$25 million, according to Bloomberg.


ANA relaunched flights linking Japan and Myanmar in October last year (TTG Asia e-Daily, October 12, 2012) and will increase Tokyo (Narita)-Yangon operations to a daily service from September 30 (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 26, 2013).


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