SilkAir launches multi-city flights in Myanmar

SilkAir will launch its ‘stopover flights’ connecting Singapore-Yangon-Mandalay and return to the island state with a single ticket starting October 31.

“The Myanmar government will give SilkAir permit for the stop-over ride. Businessmen and tourists can enjoy the convenience of flying from Singapore and drop off in Yangon to do their business or sightseeing for a few days and then go to Mandalay.

“After sightseeing in Mandalay they can direct back to Singapore with SilkAir. So this is two cities air ticket,” Singapore ambassador to Myanmar Robert Chua told The Myanmar Times in a recent interview.

Silk Air is the regional wing of Singapore Airlines.

Currently there are 60 flights a week between Myanmar and Singapore.

The number of Myanmar tourists going to Singapore are increasing after the island-state provided visa exemption for Myanmar citizens since December 2016.

According to Singapore Tourism Board, the number of Myanmar tourists visiting to Singapore continues to grow with nearly 76, 000 visitors in the first half of 2017, a 28 percent growth compared with the same period last year.

“SilkAir is a worldwide airline that can bring the world to Myanmar so this is what I am happy to see. It will contribute to the economic development (of Myanmar) from stopover ride,” the envoy said.

“We always know the three popular places in Myanmar to visit – Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan, so already this stop-over ride,” he said.

“It is good for travellers in term of increasing the number of international airlines to and from Myanmar,” said Daw Aye Mra Tha, general manager of Myanmar Airways International and Air Kanbawza, [Air KBZ]. “More airlines mean options for customers.”

“It won’t affect our market share because we have no schedule flight yet between Singapore and Mandalay,” she said. “It’s good for customers but for airline operators, especially domestic airlines, they do not have good business during off season.”

For domestic airline operators, good business is during the peak season but they are not certain if they can get profits during off season.

On an unrelated issue, Daw Aye Mra Tha said that the unrest in Rakhine State would surely affect their business, although they have not experienced many booking cancellations yet.

“We just received one or two booking cancellations from Mrauk-U and Ngapali flights, although these two popular tourist sites are far from the recent conflict areas,” she said. “Our international and domestics flights are fully booked for the Thadingyut holiday.”

Source : Myanmar Times

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