AirAsia still planning to enter Myanmar

Low-cost airline AirAsia remains committed to expanding into Myanmar as part of its regional strategy in Indo-China, Riad Asmat, the firm’s CEO, said.

“Indo-China is still very untouched in terms of the possibilities for AirAsia. That includes Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. For example, we currently fly around seven destinations and 13 routes. We want to explore more for the right destinations and the right airports in 2019. Exploring and expanding into Indo-China is our goal,” he said.

According to the Malaysian airline, it claimed about 48 percent market share in Myanmar and ran a total of 113,113 flights from January 1 to October 31 between the two ASEAN member states.

Mr Asmat’s latest comments is good news for Myanmar.

Earlier this year, talks between the airline and now-closed FMI Air to open a budget airline in Myanmar came to a halt. Had the venture been successful, the move would have enabled the budget carrier to cover up to 95 percent of the Southeast Asia aviation market. The new company would also have operated international and domestic flights. However, the Myanmar authorities continue to block any attempts to run domestic flights in order to protect the local players.

FMI Air became the third domestic airline to throw in the towel on July 20, after more than five years in operation.

Despite the challenges, the AirAsia CEO said the airline still has plans to enter the Myanmar market, and it is a matter of timing.

Source: Myanmar Times

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