Angkor-Bagan direct air-link will start in April 2018

STATE-owned Myanmar National Airlines will operate a direct air-link between Angkor Wat and Bagan as the part of the Cambodia-Myanmar “two countries, one destination” campaign to be implemented in April 2018.

U Thet Lwin Toh, chairman of Union of Myanmar Travel Association, said last week that discussions are still in progress to launch the service.

“We are still discussing flying as a scheduled charter flight with Myanmar National Airlines that would be operated three days a week. But it depends on tourist demand,” U Thet Lwin Toh, who attended the signing of the memorandum of understanding in Cambodia.

Last week, the two tourism ministers Thong Khon of Cambodia and Myanmar’s U Ohn Maung signed the agreement to promote the flow of national and third-country tourists to the temples of Angkor in Siem Reap and to the ancient city of Bagan in Myanmar.

The two tourism ministers also agreed to operate direct air-link between Siem Reap and Bagn in principle but the private sector such as tours companies and airlines need to discuss to promote it, said U Myo Thwin, Myanmar Tourism Marketing Association.

“Tour companies from both countries should create a new tour packages, combing Angkor Wat and Bagan for the two countries-one destination program. For the Cambodian side, they have already promoted this two ancient cities program and we will start it soon,” he said.

Tourist arrivals are expected to rise between two to five percent in Bagan with the implementation of the two countries-one destination campaign, U Khin Aung Htun vice chairman of Myanmar Tourism Federation said.

It is forecast to reach 350,000 visitors to Bagan by end of this year and the arrival numbers to Angkor would be 3.5 million at the same time, he said.

“Tourists arrival would be amplified to about 6,000 visitors per month to Bagan if it drew at least two percent from direct air-link between Angkor and Bagan. So It would be increased to about 70,000 visitors for the whole year,” U Khin Aung Htun said.

According to U Khin Aung Htun, recent tourist arrivals to Bagan has slightly dropped compared with the same period in 2016.

“Tourist arrivals in Bagan rose to 22 percent before the conflict in northern Rakhine. From September to until November 20 it started to decline – decreased four percent in September and one percent until November 20 comparing with the same period last year,” he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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