THAI-based LCC Nok Air will start flights this year linking the port city of Mawlamyine in Mon State to Mae Sot on the Thai border, confirmed Myanmar's Department of Civil Aviation.
Come September, Nok Air will open the Mae Sot-Mawlamyine route and extend it to Yangon the following month. A 34-seater Saab 340B turboprop aircraft will be deployed on this route, which will be launched on a trial basis as Nok Air awaits permission from the aviation authorities to run it as a charter service.
U Win Swe Tun, deputy director general, Department of Civil Aviation, said that the department had suggested that Nok Air begin with charter flights.
“Before the airline opens the new service from Mae Sot, we will establish customs and immigration sections at Mawlamyine airport. The plan is almost confirmed,” he said.
“I think this route will draw business visitors from Thailand to Mawlamyine, and Thai visitors who want to go to Golden Rock Pagoda will be able to come through Mawlamyine rather than Yangon.”
The LCC will be the first foreign airline and second airline after Myanma Airways to serve Mawlamyine airport. Myanma Airways runs flights out of Mawlamyine to Yangon, Dawei and Myeik in Tanintharyi Region.
Nok Air will also launch a Bangkok-Yangon service from Don Muang Airport this November, and is studying the possibility of linking Chiang Mai to Bagan and Yangon.