HOUSE OF THE WEEKmore
Kanbawza quiet on Air Inle launch
June 21 - 27, 2010
A DEPARTMENT of Civil Aviation official said last week no formal application had been lodged to register a new domestic airline, despite reports in local media that a subsidiary of Kanbawza Group was preparing to enter the market.
“We still haven’t yet had an official submission for permission to operate a new domestic airline,” the spokesperson said on June 17.
A spokesperson for Kanbawza Group refused to comment, while other players in the domestic air industry also declined to discuss the proposed airline.
The Myanmar Post reported on May 25 that a new airline called Air Inle and operated by Kanbawza Bank Limited would fly to major domestic destinations using aircraft leased from Myanmar Airways International (MAI).
Despite the confusion about the new airline, the announcement was welcomed by tourism experts in Yangon, who said it was a positive development for the industry.
“I have heard about Air Inle but I don’t know any of the details, such as when it is going to launch. I think it is not yet finalised,” said a spokesperson from an air ticket agency in Yangon.
“We always welcome improvements in the transportation sector. As tour operators, we totally depend on domestic airlines,” said U Phyoe Wai Yar Zar, vice chairman of the Myanmar Marketing Committee. “And we definitely need to increase the carrying capacity of both the domestic and international airlines.” Air Inle would become the fifth domestic airline.