Golden Myanmar Airlines will launch its first international route this month with daily flights from Mandalay and Yangon to Singapore, and is eyeing flights to Bangkok, New Delhi and Hong Kong, the company’s managing director says.
“We can confirm we’ll fly the Singapore route … starting from April 5. This marks the first international air route by Golden Myanmar Airlines,” said U Aung Gyi, who is also a shareholder in the airline.
As befitting its “low-cost carrier” status, Golden Myanmar Airlines is launching the route with bargain basement airfares: one well-known ticketing agent in Yangon said promotion fares between April 5-8 would be just US$45 one-way. Regular fares will be around $100 one-way, the airline says, about half of what other carriers on the route charge.
Golden Myanmar launched in January with flights between Yangon and Mandalay. The airline is now looking at several potential new international routes in 2013, including Bangkok, New Delhi and Hong Kong, U Aung Gyi said.
“Currently we have only one A320 aircraft but we will add one more aircraft very soon before launching the Singapore route. We will also fly to Bangkok at the end of April. As we originally planned, we will add more aircraft very soon and will fly to Delhi and Hong Kong in the near future,” he said.
The flights will be Mandalay’s first connection with Singapore, and continues international carriers’ newfound interest in Myanmar’s last royal capital.
While Yangon accounted for nearly all of the country’s international passengers in 2012, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation said in a report last week that much of the attention in recent months has turned to Mandalay and forecast that this trend would continue.
It is a dramatic turnaround for a city that had only one international route, a China Eastern Airlines service to Kunming in China, prior to Thai AirAsia launching Bangkok-Mandalay flights in October 2012.
The following month, Myanmar Airways International (MAI) launched thrice-weekly flights from Mandalay to Gaya in India.
MAI launched daily flights between Mandalay and Bangkok on March 31, the same day that Thai Airways International’s sister airline, Thai Smile, launched a Bangkok service with five flights a week.
Meanwhile, Bangkok Airways has unveiled plans to operate four flights a week on the route from September 13 and MAI is considering more international routes from the city, including to Singapore.