THE inking of an air service agreement between the Philippines and Myanmar is likely to pave the way for LCC flights on the Manila-Yangon route, which travel consultants are keen to capitalise on for niche holidays.
Following the May 20 signing, Philippine-based LCCs Cebu Pacific Airways, Tigerair and Philippines AirAsia have applied to the Civil Aeronautics Board for 1,260 seats for a weekly Manila-Yangon route.
AirAsia Zest is keen on a seven-times-weekly service while Philippines AirAsia also wants to fly from points outside Manila to points outside Yangon.
Travel consultants welcomed the LCCs’ plans while noting that Myanmar is pricey because both accommodation and transport options are limited.
Pearl Brion, product specialist, Rajah Travel, noted that inbound to Myanmar is controlled. “For now, Myanmar is not for mass tourism; it’s more for niches like cultural immersion and adventure.
“However, budget flights will be a big boost to Myanmar and will complete the opening of tourist destinations in Indochina.”
Hanna Padilla, managing director, RDV Voyage Travel Agency, said: “Myanmar opened up recently and is not yet ready for mass tourism, but I think it is going to change very fast as everything changes very fast in Asia”.
Padilla added: “Myanmar is a very specific travel category, attracting travellers who will stay one or two weeks immersing in its cultural and natural attractions unlike mass tourists spending 2D/3N shopping, eating and sightseeing in say, Singapore or Hong Kong”.